Dependent Origination

Love in the Time of Cholera

Posted on: November 30, 2011

It is a powerful story: winding through nearly 60 years of Cartegena, Columbia, which is the city I think the novel is based in, though nowhere in the book the city is named. It makes me want to visit the city and hang out at the places the characters were. There are so many stages of love, so many facets of love, and so many different “love”. You can find nearly everyone of them here in the story. The writing is fluid, moving and flowing. I cannot say enough good things about it. The words are at a beautiful play here.

The version I read is translated by Edith Grossman. Reading such story, my desire to read the original Spanish version is rekindled — how I wish one day I can appreciate the writing in the author’s native hand. I hope one day I can do that.

今天在微博上面读到一个著名校友说他跟我说了多少句我爱你,写了多少封情书,说了多少次今后在不看另外的女子一眼,我怎么才能知道他爱不爱我呢。另外一个著名校友说怎么清华的妹妹们虽然从事了文艺事业仍然要这么定量的分析感情,只要看着他的眼睛就知道他爱不爱你了。

怎样知道对方爱不爱我,这是一个亘古的难题。那个想答案的比那个说有解决办法的其实要靠谱多了。因为她至少知道一件事情,一个人的心连自己都不一定知道,怎么另一个人就能确切的说我知道了呢。看着眼睛,读出对方的爱意这至少需要两个必要条件:一个对方的眼睛和内心的感情是一致的,另一个看的这个人能够从别人的非言语状态体会到对方的意图。同学们,这两件事哪有那么容易实现的。第一条,我至少遇到过两种人。一种根本不知道自己的情绪状态是什么,究竟是开心还是不开心,完全靠观察别人的反映来的。另一种,不知道因为什么原因,一直在修炼面具,面部表情只有一个,不开口你根本不知道他高兴得飘飘欲仙了。第二条,这个世界上lack of empathy的人实在太多了,中国人里面尤其多,不论男女。他/她就是没有这个体察别人的情感状态的能力。不要说像爱情一样如此复杂的情感状态了,连别人高兴不高兴他/她都不知道。而且大多数没有empathy能力的人,也不认为empathy是生活必须的技能,所以他们的总体表现形式就是根本不管自己说的话或者做的事情会在别人的心里造成什么样的影响,总之就是不care。no self-awareness at all。have no idea what is going on around them. 在理解接受自己,在understand own emotions这些方面都有如此重大问题的人们面前,不管是declare love,还是accept love, 都是瞎猫撞死耗子而已。

ok, 就算两个能力都具备,能看到的是什么?他这一刻爱我。一个重点是这一刻,就想这本书里的故事一样,多么深刻的爱情,当事人都辗转反侧彻夜难眠反抗父母的爱情,突然一个转身之间就爆掉了,infaturation而已,nothing more。另一个重点,尤其是放在男人身上的时候,刚刚开始的时候,其实哪里是爱,明明是sexual desire啊。真的到爱,真的到他的生命里面不能没有你,没有你所有的一切都不再有意义(至少是短时间里)的时候,还好一阵儿呢。对于有些人,比方说我之前提到的那个老公,十年之后还差不多。

所以怎么才知道对方爱不爱呢?我最近和一个朋友的讨论结果是其实这个问题并不重要。当然必要的神魂颠倒的表象还是要有的,除此之外,不如赶紧结婚,赶紧生个孩子,赶紧在生活中检验一下这个男人真心有多少,情商有多少,给自己和孩子更好生活的能力有多少,如果没有,那么面对没有起色的自己的生活,能不能够总结出人生的智慧,处理掉自己的消极情绪,给家人始终的爱护,能不能够把家人(就是你,至少也是孩子)放在自己的痛苦前面,等等。人生的路很长,年轻的时候的才华,或者貌似才华的东西,并不一定等于四十岁的时候的成熟和智慧。抓紧时间检验,如果上面种种没有及格,早点解散,开始自己的生活,才更重要。有一个满意的老公肯定是最快乐的生活,但是单身和孩子(们)相依为命自己的生活自己建造自己作主的日子还是要远远强过拥有一个别别扭扭的老公的生活的。可惜事实上,别别扭扭的老公们简直太多了,有的时候走到哪里都是,虽然大多数情况下,同样老去的老婆,却age得要graceful得多。

2 Responses to "Love in the Time of Cholera"

以前有个前辈跟我说,如果俩人都是好人,够成熟,也愿意为共同生活努力,那基本符合这几个条件的男女就可以维持很好的婚姻了。我刚听到的时候极为震惊,现在越来越觉得这很有可能是真的。不过够这几个条件,尤其是后两条的,也不容易。现在我觉得,最可怕的不是跟自己有过节的人,而是那种哪儿哪儿都找别扭,自己跟自己都过不去的那种人

There is quite some truth in the quotation. Long term marriage is not about love — love would be gone by the fifth or tenth year. It is about common goals in the first place — check out those politicians’ wives standing by their cheating husbands’ side. Then whether it is a happy long-term marriages is about communication skills — more on this later since it is such a general term few people ever spend time elaborating what it means. Then it is about personal growth — in some cases, it is about mutual personal shrinkage — whether you grow to be a better person, or grow to be a worse person, as long as the pair keep roughly the same pace towards the same direction, it will be a long term marriages. in fact, i want to say something about that ‘personal shrinkage’ — am noticing more of it lately.

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