Foreward: I wrote this piece months before the date of publishing, but feel I understand its weight now more so than ever
The art in a play is not just weighted in the playwrite's literary aptitude, but in the activation of the senses and the experience of the audience. The soundtrack; the balance between fantastical command and theatrics of the actors; chemistry; and my favourite, the use of props and background, where art can transform a crate from being a stool in one scene, to symbolising caged freedom in the next, seamlessly and independent of logic. Just like a dream, a ribbon can symblise a celebration and unity, and with the blink of an eye, mark the turn of chaos and flames.
Traditional play writers honour Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and do not permit any recording of the play during performance. All that is left is the script, which can be transformed from director to director. You remember how the words made you feel, you can remember the atmosphere, but you can never recreate the mediums that truly brought out those emotions in you. With time, you may begin to question what made the words so potent...was it truly the physical situation and experience, or was it just your personal resonation with them that let you get so affected? This element of the unknown is one of the few things that will linger.
That is a lot like how I see relationships. They all echo the same primal emotions, but through the medium set up by our bodies and happenstance they each channel expression uniquely. And it always leaves me with the lingering question, where does the meaning lie: my projection, or the experience itself? That lingering unknown may be the reason why I have a bad habit of only very rarely taking pictures with people that impact me the most.
This reaction to the lingering unknown can be interpreted as a response to the transience of a relationship, but what many of us fail to realise is that our attitude in the 'now' of a relationship, is also a gauge of our response to transience.
The fear of living in the moment (known as "anhedonia") comes from a reluctance to accept that one is going to fully live out a possibility, and so rather one locates the happiness in memory or anticipation. SImplistically speaking, we can relate anhedonia to people who spend ages planning a holiday, go sour during the trip, then look back on it in nostalgia.
More confrontingly, this happens a lot when people approach the idea of relationships; they approach it with expectation and past memory. In this way it becomes a meeting of 4 characters and personalities. Your soul to your partner's soul, your mask to theirs, and then the problems ensue when a soul is acquainted with a mask instead.
As Freud writes, 'Transience value is scarcity value in time. Limitation in the possibility of an enjoyment raises the value of the enjoyment.' He considered it incomprehensible that the thought of the transience of beauty should interfere with our joy in it.
What spoils the enjoyment of beauty must be a revolt in the mind against mourning; since the mind instinctively recoils from anything that is painful, the enjoyment of beauty is felt interfered with by thoughts of its transience.
We possess a certain amount of capacity for love-what we call libido- which in the earliest stages of development is directed towards our own ego. Later though, this is diverted from the ego onto objects, which are thus in a sense taken into our ego. If the objects are destroyed or if they are lost to us, our libido is once more liberated, and it can then either take other objects instead or can temporarily return to the ego.
The detachment of libido from its objects is a painful process (mourning), it reveals our instincts in all their nakedness and lets loose the evil spirits within us which we thought had been tamed forever. It makes ourselves small again and the rest of the world far remote. Those who seem ready to make a permanent renunciation because what was precious has proved not to be lasting, are simply in a state of mourning for what is Lost.
What many of us learn through life is that we, as beings, are fluid. The elements we bring in to represent our identity are just an avenue for expression; when you let those elements define you is when you lose the sense of who you are. For example, growing up you can consider yourself to be 'awkward' or 'ugly', and have your identity lie in your intelligence, then you may go through a stage when you are no longer the smartest, but instead become physically attractive, eventually this too will be lost. The titles and labels and wealth are just bounds and weights that bandaid your idea of your identity. It is pointless to act self-defensively when one of these labels becomes threatened; all these things are just like the props from the play...change scene and they will be lost or mean a different thing. This too rolls onto people in our lives; your past self and a former partner may have been congruent for a time, but that doesn't mean you two are still in parallel now. In saying that, it doesnt make your relation void. We are all continuous with the physical universe as much as waves are continuous with the ocean. The more you realise this, the less you fear the transience of things.
Mourning, as we know, however painful it may be comes to a spontaneous end. When it has renounced everything that has been lost, then it has consumed itself, and our libido is once more free to replace the lost objects by fresh ones equally or still more precious. All that has been destroyed shall build up again, and perhaps on firmer ground and more lastingly than before.
In such I have realised that the meeting of two people by chance, empty of ideas, concepts, or expectations, who have had to redefine themselves from several frameworks, can nullify their individual fears of transience, and meet each other face to face. The only negative is that I've realised that for me personally, I don't have a fear of transience, I just have an assertion against its existence- I try to dry press flowers, find secret video-recording copies of plays, and eulogise/immortalise things in my memory with my writing. I come in headstrong and say I dont fear the transience, but then I never want things to end.
When you meet that person -a person-
One of your soulmates,
Let the connection,
Be what it is.
It may be five minutes,
Let it manifest itself the way it is meant to- It has an organic destiny. This way if it stays or if it leaves,
You will be softer from having been loved this authentically.
Souls come into,
Return, Open, And sweep through your life for a myriad of reasons. Let them be who and what they are meant.