Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tristan and Isolde (The surrender of self to Love)

I recently murdered the story of Tristan and Isolde while making a point of the necessity of pain and anguish, the acceptance of these parts of life as inevtabilities of a passionate and well led journey. I used Tristan and Isolde as metaphors for resigned passion and love. unfortunately I paraphrased the most touching part of the story, so I've decided to retell it and expose casual readers to my thoughts. The Story goes as follows:

Tristan was a knight who was sent by his king to retrieve Isolde, a beautiful princess whos marriage to the king was to provide peace to two long battling kingdoms.

Isolde was beautiful and young, and her nurse worried that she would not accept the old farty king as a husband. As insurance against a pretty young girl's better instincts, the nurse made a love potion that Isolde would drink when she met the king.

As fate would have it, during the trip the dashing Tristan and beautiful Isolde accidentally drink the potion, and a deep love ensues.

The nurse wakes the next day and finds the new lovers in each other's arms, weeping. They know what this means. They know that suffering and more likely death for Tristan would soon follow.

The Nurse exclaims, "You have drunk your death."

"If by ‘my death’ you mean this agony of love, that is my life!" responded the loving knight, "If by my death you mean the punishment that we are to suffer if discovered, I accept that. And if by my death, you mean eternal punishment in the fires of hell, I accept that too."

So essential to the journey is a complete surrender into the moment and passions of love, that this Boy-Knight and his teenage princess are willing to accept both physical death AND eternal damnation for their love, is a testament to romantic love, attraction, and the depth to which it moves us.

The same story as ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. No matter what the end result, or the misery you may feel, it is always worth it. The anger of betrayal, the crushing loneliness, and the resurrected self, a better and more conscious self, are all in thanks to the surrender we once made. Though we sometimes miss that glorious bliss, we are greatful for the ability to surrender to it, and the supreme happiness it once brought to our lives.

1 comment:

Stephen Gutknecht said...

Have you seen Joseph Campbell and Power of Myth? he discusses this story and meaning in his section on Love.

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