Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And Then I Magically Chilled The Fuck Out

There's a line in Pride and Prejudice, where Elizabeth Bennet makes a declaration to the effect of the best way of alleviating one's feelings of affection is to write about it. I'm paraphrasing, of course.  (And by "line" I mean an entire bit of dialogue exchange that was slightly wordier than I remembered).

Actual snippet as follows:
[Scene: Elizabeth's mother essentially gossiping about how this one dude was smitten with Elizabeth's friend Charlotte but never did marry her] 
"...However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were."  
"And so ended his affecion," said Elizabeth impatiently. "There has been many a one, I fancy, overcome in hte same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!"  
"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love," said Darcy.  
"Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away."

For some reason, that always kind of stuck with me.

Why does writing have this magical ability to erase our feelings? I mean this in both good and bad ways.

In the instance above, Jane Austen was referring to how the grand sweeping gesture of writing love letters and poems serves to diminish that spark of attraction - it causes it to fade, somehow. I don't know if that's true or not. It's never worked for me. Every time I was trying to get over a relationship, I'd write my little emo heart out about it, and it didn't seem to directly assauge any lingering feelings of affection. 

I guess how this is relevant, is this: all of my pent-up angst that I've been referring to all week, the stuff that I meant to pour out over these, um, pages (?) over the next month... Poof, gone. Like the very act of writing about them, of directing all of my energy at releasing those words, somehow pulled away any last bit of Feeling of them that I had.

Which is to say, writing is cheap therapy, which we all knew, but it's fucking effective. I no longer feel angsty or sad and I feel like I've snapped out of whatever it was that I was in.

That also means I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to write about for the rest of the month since I'm feeling pretty zen about everything right now. I suppose I could keep pillaging my archives. I don't know. I'm sure I will figure out a way through this verbal hardship. 


Ashley said...

I've noticed that what really gets me to write about my feeeeeelings is uncertainty. Once I either don't care or have something figured out, I have remarkably little to say about it. "Well, that happened" doesn't take up many pages, you know?

Tori said...

Everyone has Feelings, but when a relationship is first starting out, no one wants to see those Feelings up close and personal, because it makes things real. I think that's why poetry / writing / etc. scares people away.

Conversely, if those Feelings belong to YOU, writing about them yourself is not going to make them go away, though it may make you less inclined to discuss your Feelings with the person for whom you have Feelings.

Awkward turtle.