Tag Archives: love

Freewrite- Love Spell

This is a random little piece I wrote after a mixture of my World Religions class and Shakespeare class came together to form an idea. My religions class had been talking about cultures that believe items can be cursed, particularly with love spells. And I’d just finished reading Midsummer Night’s Dream- which contains a love potion used to confuse the lovers. And so, I reflected on that after having a random kissing dream (yes I know how scandalous) and decided to write a piece about a girl wondering if she’s been put under a spell. Simple fun free-writing based on what I’m learning. Enjoy!

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It sits against my heart. Reflective I suppose. That the love I feel is emulated in this tiny piece of rock nestled there against my chest. Magic never struck me as real before. But perhaps it is.

You gifted it to me on my birthday. A souvenir trinket you’d picked up on the road. Nothing special I suppose. Or so I thought. Til that night.

I should have noticed the changes. My looks lingered a little longer. My laughs became a bit more uncomfortable. My heartbeat quickened almost imperceptibly.

My life went on as normal. And yet a bit more time was devoted to our chats. More energy, more focus. That day I put on a bit more makeup before going out to see you I suppose I should have realized it was real. That something had changed. And yet I remained blind to my ways, to the patterns emerging before my gaze.

And then came the dreams.

Specifics never seem to come easily upon waking. One recalls vague aspects, but never the very details of what happened. And so I’ll attempt preciseness, and yet likely fail.

You were in a garden. Sitting. I walked over to you, surprised to see you in such a setting. You smiled, stared at me with such easiness, your expression just a little different. If there was nervousness I don’t recall. I simply remember sitting down. And moving to kiss you.

I awoke with a gasp of surprise. Stood. Paced. Wondered. The mind is a strange place. Dreams ten times stranger. Had I really wanted that? Had it all been a strange combination of the days events? I glance at my phone. Look at the message you left me before I slept. Impossible. I’ve never felt such things before.

I laid back down, rolled to my side, the necklace shifting easily on my bare skin. I try not to think of it, as I surrender back to sleep.

You haunt me.

I cannot escape you, either in life or in sleep. You are my shadow, ever with me. Even by moonlight you tarry after my step.

My dreams have become more elaborate. Sometimes our kisses go on a while. Sometimes I seem to just see your face everywhere I go. The faces of those around me. The images of advertisements. You are there. Ever watching. Ever waiting.

I am uncomfortable when I see you at day, memories of the nights tailing me everywhere. What if you know? What if you suspect? Am I blushing? Is it obvious?

Where did this come from? I have never thought such things before. We were friends. Good friends. Who’d agreed never to let feelings go beyond that. Have I gone mad?

Even  your faults now seem to attract me. I find you frustratingly loveable, a glorious insanity, a treasured torture. Were you always so beautiful at your worst?

The dreams deepen. Sometimes I hear chanting beyond me, somewhere in the clouds. I am lost as I run towards you, my only goal in life now. I have forgotten how to live without you. You are my very breath, my very existence. I need you.

That night I finally did it. I felt like I was in one of my dreams as we went to a movie together. Just friends. Perhaps. My mind took it to the extreme. We were changing. You were changing. Just as I was. This madness had consumed you too. And you would want me.

As we walked home I did it. The unspeakable. Broke the bond of friends. Leaned in. Kissed you. It was not the same as the dreams. Less perfection. Less sweet. But nonetheless like bread to a starving man and I consumed without regret.

You pushed away. Cried out. Your face red. Your eyes filled with a torrent of emotions. Was I the cause of such distress? How could I be when all I wanted was your love? Was ever sweetness met with more bitter hate?

I tried to grab your arm. You pulled me away. Your hand caught the string beneath  my shirt. I struggled. Liquid on my cheeks. When had I begun to cry? There is no recollection of when my eyes opened to allow such emotion to spill.

You push me back roughly. I fall. But in the process, your hand has broken the flimsy string that kept your lovetoken so close to my heart. As you walk into the darkness I sit there, staring at the small figure that is lying broken and useless in the grass beside me.

In an instant it is gone. Desire. Longing. Passion. Obsession. I forget why I have even come to this state, lying broken and crying on the dirty ground. What has happened? Where have I been.

I don’t dare touch it as I stand, brief recollections of my days and weeks and months spent thinking of you clear on my mind. I move away from the little idol that represents my worship of you. Move on. Get up. Go on.

I only know. Without a doubt. If ever there was magic. My deep love is not without. You have cast a spell on me. You drew me in with a curse. And it never then can be.

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What is Love?

Please tell me you sung my title. Because if you didn’t I’m extremely disappointed. However, no, this won’t actually be a post about love. This is an English Major blog, and therefore it’s going to be more focused on A Midsummer Night’s Dream because I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on that play, and even more so on one of the central themes: what is the nature of love?

For any who haven’t seen/read the play, I’ll cue you in to the basic plot. But hey, there will be spoilers. So we start with Theseus who’s getting married. Like any Shakespeare play there are going to be a lot of characters, so hold onto your hats. Theseus, ruler of Athens, is helping Egeus settle a conflict with his daughter. Egeus wants his daughter, Hermia, to marry Demetrius, but Hermia wants to marry Lysander instead. Even worse, Demetrius has already courted another girl named Helena, who is madly in love with him in spite of him not returning her affections anymore. Hermia is told she can marry Demetrius, die, or be a nun. Her choice. She and Lysander plan to run away that night, telling Helena of their plan, who in turn tells Demetrius hoping he’ll love her. Lysander and Hermia flee pursued by Demetrius who is pursued by Hermia. In the meantime, players try to create a play for Theseus’ wedding based on the Greek tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe. The lead actor Bottom is ridiculous (he comes into play later). In the meantime, the fairy king and queen (Oberon and Titania) are fighting. To get revenge Oberon anoints her eyes with a love potion and she falls for the actor Bottom who is mischievously transformed to have the head of a donkey, thus making him all the more repulsive. Seeing Helena’s plight, Oberon also instructs his servant to anoint Demetrius’ eyes to fall for Helen, but the servant instead anoints Lysander’s. At one point both men are spelled in love with Helena rather than Hermia. The couples end up fighting wildly and finally all is set right again. They marry, Bottom is transformed back and performs his terrible play. Happy endings all around.

But not quite. I suppose what troubled me most in my reading of this play was questioning what love really means, particularly in the context of Helena and Demetrius. And perhaps Shakespeare intended his audience to question such. Lysander tries to make love sound rational, and yet others describe Cupid as being blind, and Titania’s love at first sight for the hideous donkey-man is appalling.

However, it is in Helena and Demetrius that we perhaps most question the idea of love. While Lysander and Hermia are happy, Titania and Oberon reconcile their lover’s quarrels, and Theseus and Hippolyta seem to marry quite contentedly, Demetrius only does so under the effects of a spell in the same way that Titania fell for the awful and hideous Bottom.

Someone in my class today asked if we’re supposed to feel sorry for Demetrius. And I would answer yes. But perhaps that’s personal experience coming into the mix. I had a friend (who shall remain anonymous but nonetheless agreed to let me post this) who recently was in a bad relationship. Looking back she realized that she’d been emotionally abused, and that it hadn’t been healthy overall. And she still continues to struggle with that. When she attempted to leave the relationship she was threatened, though not in the means you might think. Rather she was told she was responsible for a potential suicide in the making and that was a shocking and horrifying thing for her. And yet there continued to be this idea of “love” that the relationship she’d been in was beautiful and close, in spite of how much damage it had done. Having to try to drop all contact and later finding herself stalked was scary. Talking with her I was reminded of Helena’s obsessive pursuit of Demetrius. Though he once claimed to love her, he’s moved on. And yet she can’t seem to take no for an answer, even when he seems to be positively vile to her. He threatens what we could take as rape, threatens to leave her in the wilds to death. And yet she still follows him acting as moonstruck as can be.

Is either of their behaviors love? Demetrius must be spelled to love her. And Helena refuses to leave no matter how much Demetrius pushes her away. Is it love to not give someone space? To threaten either to gain freedom or to keep a relationship going? To not respect someone’s wishes to be left alone? Helena verges on stalker status, Demetrius on vile spousal abuser. And I look at my friend who’s being stalked in the name of love and think, this isn’t love. This isn’t right.

I come from a Christian background, and you can think what you want about that, but it always brings me back to what 1st Corinthians says about love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Before anyone gets onto me about being preachy, I’ll quickly say I have no quarrels with anyone having their own beliefs. But I suppose I’m just highlighting these are mine. And I want love to be something beautiful and freeing rather than the unnatural feeling of obsession.

I think in the end Shakespeare is just creating the real fact, that love is a mystery. He who married a woman far older than him, perhaps he questioned why that was, what had happened. Did he feel like Demetrius trapped because of his initial pursuit of her, a possible pregnancy in the making? Did he fall irrationally like Titania for bottom? Or did he come to love her gradually and reasonably like Lysander? It is hard to say. But these various contrasting couples, all concluded as Thisbe and Pyramus murder each other in the name of love, continues to call to question this strange force we claim to know so much about.

All I know is this, I will never consider the disgusting way Helena pursues an abusive man like Demetrius to be love. Stalking and refusing to leave someone alone is not love. Threatening someone is not love. Killing oneself over someone else, is not love. What is love? I can’t tell you. But I definitely know that as I read Shakespeare I have a very good idea of what it’s not.

Helena:

And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel. And, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you.
Use me but as your spaniel—spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me. Only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love—
And yet a place of high respect with me—
Than to be usèd as you use your dog?

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When a Writer Falls in Love

A few weeks ago a friend said something very interest to me. She quoted: “If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die. ” — Mik Everett. And this quote started to get my mind going. So I wrote this reflection of what happens when a writer falls in love. It’s a bit sappy, but anyone who knows me should already be aware I’m a hopeless romantic. Also, the writer is always referred to as a she or her simply because I’m writing from my own perspective, not because I have any beliefs that male writers don’t have the same feelings or anything of that nature. So below is my writing, feel free to comment on your own thoughts on this quote, but here is my reflection:

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When a writer falls in love with you, you become immortalized forever. She is unable to do anything but write and think and dream. She tries her best to confine her heart in a prison of ink, and in doing so keeps you captured upon a page. You live forever in her works. And dwell forever in her heart. And as her heart and her works connect, you’ll find references to yourself all along the way.

She will write unendingly of your eyes. Blue like the free open sky, or brown like the rich earth, or green like the growth and life of plants, or grey like the stormy seas. And words forever will worship those eyes that first captivated her soul and laid her bare for all the world to see.

She will write of your voice, the way it lilts in certain places, the way you accent each word. She’ll write of how hearing it causes tears (though they never come till after you’re gone). Those soft tender words you speak will make her type away for hours on end, staring at a computer as though hoping that typing down each and every phrase might bring your voice to life upon the page. And though she may not show it, she waits and watches each time your mouth opens, hungry for more to feed her thoughts and fill her writing.

She will write of your laugh and smile and the way her heart twists painfully each time your happiness is evident. For though she doesn’t want you sad, your happiness confounds and undoes her, pulls her open in ways no other element could do. And sometimes those feelings hurt almost as much as any physical pain would, that tightness in her chest expanding into butterflies in her stomach, her butterflies fluttering into her heart to quicken the beat until she feels overwhelmed in the sensations. And she is unable to do anything but feel, torn between embracing it, or pushing it away, unable to distinguish how much the pleasure and the pain intermingle in one.

But more than anything she’ll try to write what she knows words can never fully express. She’ll wish she could write symphonies, paint masterpieces, find other ways to immortalize and protect the vulnerable emotions that extend through all aspects of her mind. She’ll write of feelings, of longing, of deep pining and wanting, and of things which the English language has boundaries in fully expressing. Her writing will be unable to fully satisfy what she so longs to give and to receive. For though a book is a dear friend for a while, it can never love her back the way a real person could. She’ll try her best to give her heart upon the page, but in reality it is a mere substitute for the longing she has to set free the truth and fully treasure the bond that she could share with you if only you would love her in return.

For when a writer falls in love with you, her words live on in paper, but the love lives on in her acknowledgement of her feelings for you in a way so many others can’t express. A writer prints a bit of soul and heart within her writing. And spreads before the world a portrait of the one who best opens her creativity. For you, her dear muse, have allowed her to marry her two loves into one, merge writing and desire into one beautiful molded masterpiece that remains in her thoughts even when the book is long forgotten and crumbles into dust. Even then she’ll still remember. Still treasure. And the words once printed on paper, remain printed somewhere deep within her, longing only to take up a home within your heart as well.

rose and letter

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