Friday, December 18, 2009

Fear and Cowardice

Francisco de Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son
J and I have been friends nearly a decade now, and I must say that is rare, at least for me. I had never given it much thought until the other day when she told me I was cowardly. Okay, I'm not good with criticism, but this one made me really think. She and I are quite alike oddly, even though we come from completely different lives. And she is maybe one of two (maybe?) people I trust not to blow smoke up my ass. She critiques my work frequently as well, gives me food for thought. Yes, cowardly.... hmmm... that, I've not heard before, but then again, our perception of ourselves is often different from another person's perception. She said I was cowardly because I often choose to not love people, to keep them at a distance for fear of.... betrayal?; even with her, it took nearly five years before we were good friends, longer to completely trust that she would not... would not abandon me? I just figured I was a tad anti-social. In this era of instant love as portrayed in films and books, she admitted that she did not love her first husband even when she married him, but that it was only years later that she learned to love him. She said love is both a physical and an intellectual endeavor; physical love is obvious, but intellectual love can only come with time.


  1. Hi Elaine,
    yeah love is alot of things i think most escapes good defination.:)I don't think "trust" is a part of love but it surely can cause a lot of conflict if you are in love but cannot committ or trust it. :)
    now lust..:) i think chemistery is a part of it or it is not complete..also love evolves does it not? Sometimes it brings people closer other times not so.
    You know Elaine.. we can never be certain that we will not be betrayed or hurt .:) And we can never control anyone else...We can however control what we do in a relationship and if it does not work we can leave without regret..maybe disappointment.etc:) but regret for what we do ..that is the worst!
    Have great holidays,

  2. Ohhh Elaine..that is a crazy piece of art work! :)

  3. Yes, true. There is wisdom in those words. I never thought of myself as a pessimist, though... I simply enjoy lots of solitude. J is absolutely like me in this respect (and she readily admits it)... I think also she was talking about herself as well. I just wonder if not more people are solitary by nature or more social. For instance, I like going to the movies alone whereas most people go in groups.... So..? With J, it's easy to be with her and yet feel not overwhelmed... It's like talking to myself! What a narcissus am I!

  4. It's funny how cultural this is. I read that in China it is considered mature to be circumspect and suspicious - as evidenced by small pupils. In other cultures, it's different.

    In traditional African cultures it is considered proper to avoid eye contact when making a point. In other cultures that would be seen as shifty.

    That said, I came across a quote only yesterday that touches on what you write about:

    "Love is giving someone the power to hurt you, and trusting they will not do so."

    I guess the trick is to be in command of who we give our love and trust to.

    I love your choice of artwork for this piece.