Monday, September 01, 2008

Always and Forever

Such beautiful concepts, as uplifting to the spirit as listening to ABBA songs. So romantically bewildering even when rationally impossible. Or maybe because they're rationally impossible, they can be so romantically enchanting.

In preparing for my Literature and Art class, I am reading on Greek and Roman civilizations. Whereas the Greeks excelled because of their insistence on upholding the principle of reason (Plato's ideal Republic that is built on reason alone has long been a central argument in my theory classes where most of the students are 'romanticly' inclined to love literature, a world of emotions and passion), the Romans excelled because they were like a sponge, ready to absorb other cultures and ideas, ready to be open for others to assimilated with. When you're in love you allow the other person's ideas to be part of you, to absorb you.

When you're in love you throw reason out of the window, you throw Greek order out of the window (ironically Greece was the setting for that ABBA movie that tells us to throw away reason and succumb to passion.) And it is only when you're willing to do that that love works. Rationalizing a concept as romantic (pun intended) as love would naturally lead to its destruction.

The Romans also excelled because they saw themselves as rulers of the entire world, an impossibility as history has continuously proven. And when you're in love you believe in the impossible, also much like the Romans. You believe in Always and Forever, and you're happy to believe in them, you want to believe in them, and you can't help but believe in them.

I know I'm in love because I believe in the Always and Forever. And I'm not even a romantic person.


Disturbed Stranger said...

Forever can also mean not looking beyond the moment... to make it last as long as possible...

So I guess that makes me in love as well...

Amethyst said...

I like the Greeks how I like Plato.

ValenciaLover said...

you're not romantic? true sometimes, but some other times you can be so romantic... i've seen it

I think if Romans did rule the entire world, we would have more beautiful buildings. I'm not an engineer, but i work in an engineering department so this is what i care about.

ValenciaLover said...

Architecture is more important than you think :)

Flamingoliya said...

you are romantic, it shows from your blog.

Shurouq said...

I've never thought about comparing the two civilizations. Very interesting observations.

O 3asa always in love :**

Hanan said...

disturned. So carpe diem? I never took you for a carpe diem person. But yes. that sentiment is there as well, a big part of the whole always and forever is that there is no yesterday, today and tomorrow so there is no time, so there is no beyond the moment :*

amethyst. I don't mind the Greeks. I prefer the Romans. In general they're more attractive and less vulgar. But wait. I'm talking about modern day Greeks and Romans of course :)

valencia. I'm loving what I'm reading on their architecture too. Do you know that the arch is purely Roman style of architecture (brought into Paris by Romans :). So yes. They did rule the world since arches are a main part of architecture globally.

flamingoliya. Blogs can be deceiving. But ok. a9eerlich romantic ya ba3ad chabdy :*

shurouq. I'm loving the book. Such an eye opener to so many things. And the pictures inserted there - though mutilated by that ugly censorship tape - make it more enjoyable to read :)

Delicately Realistic said...

"When you're in love you allow the other person's ideas to be part of you, to absorb you"

so soooooo true


Disturbed Stranger said...

"Disturned"?!!!! Really?!
Babe it's like you do it on purpose ;*

and don't act all cold and stone-hearted ... you are one of the loviest-doviest people I've seen! and you know it :)

Anonymous said...

I remember being so intellectually stimulated by your classes, this just reminds me of some good times.

It's funny how you can fall in love with someone, even though the love is really what you make out of the relationship. Most of the time its just exaggerations that we force our self to believe, willingly, to make the the experience all the more amazing.

The funny part being is that usually, its just us amusing our selves, till we discover with time that the other person is just merely human with flaws. No matter how amazing, how pretty, how fun, how loyal, they turn out to be just as ugly and flawed as everyone else.

Then all the fun gets sucked out of the experience, then its just us withdrawing from the fantasy world we created. Then its no longer a breathtaking adventure of emotional roller coasters, it just another page, just another day, just another person.

Some would continue to elude themselves that maybe there is more, maybe they were lucky. Settings them selves for even more disappointment. Because as we all know in our heart of hearts, there is no such luck for anyone.

Hanan said...

realistic. You agree. Good. It means your heart hasn't hardneded :*

disturNed. loviest-doviest. You don't believe that any more than I do. But thanks :)

apathy. Unlike realistic, you seem to have hardened. But yes. That is exactly what my post is saying. But if you read disturbed's first comment, it is a momentary joy that finds its pleasure from hanging on to its momentary status. It is a feeling that allows us to 'elude' ourselves, and with this we find happiness. Happiness has nothing to do with reality. It's a state of mind. Remember our class discussions? We never reached an agreement on similar questions. Real or Ideal. Passion or Reason. :)
p.s. Funny you appear here. Shurouq and I mentioned you today.

Anonymous said...

Hanan...what a post. It's not that it struck me as romantic, but rather as revelatory and utopian...which I happen to like :)

You had me at ABBA (the sappy sentimental Kuwait in the 70's fool-child that I am) - and that was all you really needed to hook and reel me...

I think Greeks were lovers of the innate beauty of reason and order for the sake of it, lovers of the beauty and nobility of higher principles and higher intellect just because... Just because they were true romantics. Their sense of order and reason was always underlaid by their need for a noble and yet utterly romantic vision of how the world worked. Even their tragedies were romantic. Romans were single minded, steely, cool methodical conquerors and engineers driven by their sense of power, as well as sheer unadulterated hubris (Greek word intended). To me, there was more "love" in ancient Greek culture than in the Roman - and that's not because they were romantic. Their respective natures and raison d' etre's came from two different places.

We cannot help wanting love in our lives, can we? In spite of it all. It is who we are. It is the most basic and prevailing force of this universe. I have never believed in love more than I do now, at this point in my life. My own understanding of it has evolved in so many ways...

There's much I could say about what I think of being in love and what I think of always and forever... but I don't want to. I will just skip it and say this:
may you always have love in all of its real and strongest of forms, and all that is the very best of it in your life :)

White Wings said...

one of the most fascinating Roman notions is their infatuation with details, with correct ritual, it is been historicized that they would go over their ritualistic acts and repeat them several ties till they got every bit of them meticulously right
i didn't think you would like that :)
love...not logical, but some how it needs logic to continue
you know what i mean?
i am not even sure what i mean :))

Disturbed Stranger said...

Don't argue with me... You really don't want me airing certain things :)

Alia said...

you're 7addich romantic, you just don't know it :**

Hanan said...

ms. baker. I like your input on Greek versus Roman romance. And I agree with you to a point. Romans were indeed not very innovative; engineers rather than poets. But isn't their practicality exactly what love means to lovers? Even if it is the practicality of the impossible. Lovers don't seek love poetry and romance in movies, they seek each other's nearness, they seek being absorbed in their lovers' arms, 'single-mindedly' thinking of their loved ones. I agree with you that the Greeks are the best in envisioning love, but doesn't that make the Romans best at putting it to practice?

white wings. Love needs logic to make it work in a practical world. I realize that this might seem to contradict with what I said above in response to Ms. Baker (maybe I'm playing my favorite game: being the devil's advocate), but when logic enters love, it strips it from its supernatural (?) state and configures it to fit in this world.

disturbed stranger. Me argue with you? Would I dare? ;)

Alia. You're the expert on romance my dear, so thank you :*