Without mercy

Ophelia lately has drawn me back to her embrace, as does Guinevere, Isolde, the Lady of Shallot, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the Lorelei, Circe, Rhiannon, Branwen… others… Faithless as I am, I pine for each of them.

It has been ages (twenty-five years or more, to be more specific) since I allowed myself to be a hopeless romantic. Things didn’t end well for me around that time, the tattooed “amor vincit omnia” on my upper arm becoming bitter fruit for me to bear, mostly because it had been proven to be a terribly, awfully wrong slogan. Love doesn’t conquer all, at least when the love is one-sided.

I swept up the crushed pieces of my heart about that time and vowed to never get so fucking silly about love as I had been up to that point. Ever again.

Sadly, that promise has held since that time. While I love the people in my family, none of them would ever accuse me of being a hopeless romantic. That heart I wore on my sleeve has been buried under multiple layers of protection since that time, and I rarely let it out — if ever. Even as I write this, I have a hard time reconciling the person I once knew as me with who I am now. It just doesn’t seem possible that I was a wandering troubadour engaged in the idea of courtly love and spewing forth poetry full of allusion and metaphor, the kind of guy who would write songs and poems inspired by the beauty I saw everywhere. Some of it was suggestive, but I often liked it kept at that level — the unrequited was as endearing as the requited.

I’m one jaded bastard these days.

But, as I have implied or outright said, I have these reoccurring dreams that keep calling back to that person I can’t quite imagine being and I feel a familiar aching to express it, however darker it might be these days than the flower-strewn frippery I conjured up so long ago.

I find myself drawn to some of the writing that once influenced my heartsick self lately. I’m not sure why.

Probably old man syndrome…

I apologize in advance. 😉

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