Thursday, September 6, 2007

Love on Demand - Part IV

Finding an Answer

I am afraid. The minister says I must love God or be eternally damned. But I don’t know how to give love on demand. Physically, I can choose to do anything I want to do. I can completely ignore the authoritarian control of my subconscious mind. But not emotionally. So, the dilemma of turning love off or on, is the dilemma that I seek to resolve.

Then I remembered. I remembered stories told to me by a lady who lived just up the road and who immigrated to Canada shortly after she was married. Often she told me stories of the ‘old country’. And in these stories it became apparent to me that although outwardly she seemed no different than other neighbors, in her home, all was not well.

Her stories were so sad. Each time she spoke to me of her youth and her marriage, she wept with heartbreaking pain. And at the root of that pain was the story about how she had been so wrongly convinced by others that she could give love on demand.

And her dilemma seemed pretty much like my own. There was even the same interplay of redemption or destruction – only her choice was a different kind of heaven and hell. Her choice, if one can call it that, was to find security through a pre-arranged marriage (love on demand), or face a lifetime of loneliness as a forgotten spinster.

Unfortunately she thought she could give love on demand. And so she married and in her conscious mind she told herself she loved the man chosen for her. But her subconscious mind held fast in disagreement.

So that tells me I am right. The administrator of the sincerity of love is not the head. It is the heart. And because her heart could not be coerced into agreement, her soul remained in agony.

So without all the complexities I have written here, I still figured out, as a child, that it is not possible to give love on demand. And there would be no sensibility in me trying. So here I am, headed straight to hell, because I cannot love God or give him love on demand to save my wretched soul.

NEXT POST: The Conclusion of this storyFinding Sensibility


Anonymous said...

Roberta, is this fact or fiction? The writing, as always, is superb but I'm always hesitant to comment one way or the other without knowing if I'm being crude or cruel.

I do particularly love the very last line of this section.

susan @ spinning

Roberta S said...

susan, you needn't feel that way. Not to worry about being crude or cruel. Honest critiques are still the best kind and I have a good sense of humor about the stuff I write...and also after being blog friends as long as we have been, I very much respect your opinions.

Thank you for commenting. That makes two readers so all this blither is not totally for ought.

The story is true, but it does take on a slightly different flavor as I recount what occurred so very long ago.

Anonymous said...

Okay, then the only thing that I might suggest is that in reading t all at once, it seems to be repetitious in the use of the "love on demand" phrase. There is also an underlying feeling of being a bit too telling and preachy about what is really a dynamic struggle. Perhaps a bit more of an example, even focusing on a dialogue perhaps that led the narrator to come to this point?
susan @ spinning

Pauline said...

I questioned every priest and nun I met in my childhood how they knew what they thought they knew and not one could satisfy me so I figure there is no heaven or hell separate from the ones we create for ourselvs. You are welcome to my heaven; I gave up on hell a long long time ago.

Roberta S said...

susan, your comment is appreciated and well taken. I guess because I was so convinced this was a rather uncommon set of convictions, I feel compelled to be repetitive.

Also, it has been my experience that the things I hope to transmit to readers are often not transmitted. I'm not sure why that happens but obviously I cannot see my own work in the light others see it in. Also I think some read in a very casual and global way, and others read seeking meaning in each sentence.

"Love on demand" is an ambiguous phrase that can have a variety of meanings depending on one's own personal experiences so I have sought to embed in the mind of the reader the context that I've given it in this particular story.

I'm not sure what I've given priority to in this rant -- the art of telling the story or just sincere expressions of my own reflections.

Don't repeat this to anyone but another reason I might be repetitive is my own failing memory. I keep thinking about getting some Ginseng but everytime I make the dreaded trip to town, I forget to get it.

Roberta S said...

pauline, you make me laugh. Thank you for being willing to share your heaven and rejecting me from hell. That is comforting and a true kindness on your part. :)

Matty said...

Everyone's an editor. Keep repeating for people like me who don't get it the 1st or 2nd time. Oh that poor lady in the pre-arranged marriage. Sounds like my marriage....well i arranged it alright.......just didn't plan on it lasting this long.

Roberta S said...

matty, you always make me chuckle. You have a special talent for casting such humor on even disastrous things in your life (ie. first marriage to 'the ape'). I still laugh about that.

Maybe it’s a blessing that in real life, we are not next door neighbors. We would sit on the deck and chat and laugh and laugh. We wouldn't take anything seriously for one little moment.

And why isn't that good? 'Cause when I laugh that much my chest hurts, and my stomach hurts, and I can't get my breath and I can just hear me pleading for you to stop -- but of course you'll just laugh and there we go again.

Thanks for visiting. It was a good time as always.

Matty said...

You're dead on! That's what happens when I have friends over...they beg me to stop...and we have a laugh riot!
I need the conclusion-I hate the wait!