I WONDER by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean’d till then ?
But suck’d on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den ?
‘Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix’d equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.
(The Good Morrow, John Donne)
(Dug up this post from a stack of drafts from long ago!)
The fact that The Good Morrow remains my favourite poem probably means that I’m a hopeless romantic. Despite all my outward cynicism towards romance, I’m still foolishly holding onto the idea that there’ll be one person out there that would change my mind. Or at least, I’m hoping that there’ll be somebody that will be able to change my mind.
I remember the first time we went through The Good Morrow in Lit class; it was more tedious than anything, because we were still struggling with Donne then. But a year from then, when I re-read it, I was like This. Maybe it’s just because we had such in-depth discussions about his poetry, but I love Donne’s works so much. Of course, I’m still struggling through the rest of the poems that we didn’t go through in class. There’s this painful honesty, that’s so sincere to what he writes. Silly as it sounds, but it’s poetry like this that makes me feel like there is such love in the world. Alright, I’m exaggerating a bit.
If I ever do get married (though that is a far off possibility, given my inability to ever commit to anything), I wouldn’t want to exchange wedding rings. As symbolic as it is, I would want something that better epitomizes the idea of permanence and faith and forever. I would want to tattoo the infinity loop on the inside of my left wrist, because you can’t remove a tattoo as easily as a wedding ring; and because the ink is a permanent mark of my commitment to a person. And such a performative act will cement the confidence I have in myself to hold to such faith and such commitment; and hopefully it’ll mean the same to the poor soul whom I’ll force this upon too.
This sense of infinity and forever; that’s what frightens me so much about relationships. I don’t believe that you can love someone forever, and this anxiety colours the way that I treat others; or rather, I feel the need to test it. I’m probably projecting my own doubts about my fickleness and my own inability to commit onto the people around me. I test these relationships; I challenge those who dare to claim they love me. And maybe in doing that, I end up pushing them away (more often than not). But that just proves my point exactly.
I can’t say whether this terrible lack of confidence in commitment is because of my family or not. Either way, I see this fear in myself — maybe that’s why I always feel the need to warn anyone who attempts to start some somethingsomething~ with me to stay away because I’m this ball of confused nerves and insecure commitment. I’m always afraid that I can’t give back; but love is always selfish at the start right? It doesn’t help that all my (failed) experiences with romance have proven me right so far.
But I’m waiting. Because as much as I doubt the ability of anyone to commit for an unspecified length of time (eg: forever), I also have this inane urge to prove to myself that I am capable of feeling such confidence in a person. And that’s a little silly, but is it really? (Yes it is).
Although technically my ideal guy is a Power Ranger, so well… I’ll just be old and single forever.