Are We Ready For Tristan and Isolde Again?

Legends and myths wax and wane in popularity through the ages. My childhood was filled with adventures of King Arthur, the Round Table Knights, Guinevere, Lancelot–these are all as well-known to me as peanut butter and jelly. Merlin. Disney prettied them up, Monty Python mocked them, but I had, and I presume most readers are similar enough in this global age to know such obvious characters as well as I do, growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 1970s. I landed somewhere between the hippies and the punks, so I speak both tongues fairly well.

I suppose that’s why my friends range in age from about 18 to 80+. I’m good at picking up generational clues. Stopping short of looking and saying things so ridiculous to my children they dismiss me off-hand as knowing nothing important enough to stop and LISTEN to.  I have no children, but kids who would be the age of children of mine if I’d had them. For some reason I feel maternal toward them, when I felt no maternal urge whatsoever when I was of childbearing age, their age now.


Anyway, Tristan and Isolde are not so familiar to me. I mean they are, but only because I am an Opera geek, and a Arthurian history geek. They wouldn’t be so familiar to you.


But they might be to your children. Because they may come back into popularity. Last time they were popular was in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s…the dying years of Romanticism. When nice neat orderly science and reason hopped aboard and pushed aside all those fuzzy thinkers. Took control and sent the “Celtic”-like thinkers to swab the decks and sing their songs and make their poetry.

While the Karl Marx’s and Lenin’s (no no not John, he had empathy. Russia/Germany’s Lenin (Germany’s weapon, Russia’s bane) was a cold narcicisstic monster… for any of you out there who think to accuse me of being a communist or a Pinko, or RED…(hey, why is it now TEABAGGERS are RED??) I’m not a fan of Che or any logical plan for the salvation of humanity.


Humanity ain’t logical. So don’t TELL me about how if we can just be RATIONAL about it everything will be OK? OKAY??? Reason and logic have FAILED.

Passion is now in CONTROL though it will take you goobers time to figure that out.


It’s not RED vs BLUE. It’s passion vs. logic. And guy what, boys AND girls? We need BOTH.

Listen to history. Any time we swing to one extreme or t’other, there’s wars, bloodshed, darkness for centuries. Have we learned nothing? How long will it take for you to see

We cannot be PURISTS about ANYTHING and survive. But isnt’ passion all about purity? Nope. You can be messy, half-commitited, and still have a heck of a passionate time with someone. You can worship someone else so deeply you can’t let yourself go enough to make a mess and have some fun so you never really get to know this person so how can you say you really love her?


Compromise. Get your hands a little dirty. Not enough to infect yourself and get all gangrened and your arms fall off. But not so sanitary you wipe out so many bugs your kids develop no immunity and are sitting ducks for the most innocuous germ that comes their way once they (inevitably, sorry) make their way out of your lap and into the world. Better to toughen them up while you still have control, while you can nurse them and nurture them and let their immune systems learn to deal with little germs while you care for the rest of the little person’s needs…


So the young adult is not cast out into a world for which they are not prepared, only to come running home for cover at the first sign of assault. (It’s not so bad, you scoff, what babies you are…yeah, and who MADE them babies? you with your sanitizing ways) So they go home and learn and leave eventually, older and wiser, and that’s okay, or they stay out and determine to learn to deal at any cost, and sometimes they are awesome but mostly they fail. Most of us can’t do awesome when we’re fighting off the flu, a cold, and one of the several plagues of Egypt washed back ashore in the 1980’s.


Oh, complaining? Blaming? No, not me. You made a rule that that was bad. Good for you, how you make all those RULES to protect yourselves, your egos from upcoming generations who, if we weren’t trained to be so damned polite would rip your HEADS off for the mess you’ve left us.


But then there’s that stupid thing called love. And we know we can’t win in anger. We can only win in love. And that requires forgiving your enemies to the very last drop until you HAVE NO MORE ENEMIES left to forgive and then maybe we can figure out what to DO HERE.


Life’s just like that. Human condition. Some of us gets it, some of us don’t.



One comment on “Are We Ready For Tristan and Isolde Again?

  1. Once again, a brilliant gem by the author, the eponymous me.

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