To Escape

“Why don’t you come away with me, my Love? We’ll do what it takes, I’ll keep you safe. Why don’t you stay by me? When the time comes, we’ll escape…” –The Kongos: Escape

LOST VALENTINE

There’s something about war-time romances. In a certain quite macabre way it’s everyone’s ideal dream even though they wouldn’t want to live through it.

In a song by the Kongos, “Escape”, the perfect love story is told. Bombs are bursting in the air; rockets illuminate the sky; the fabric of social existence is wrought out… And yet, these two lovers experience the most dramatic, most meaningful time of their lives. The singer says “We’ll do what it takes; I’ll keep you safe”.

warThe truth is, they probably won’t stay safe. And they probably couldn’t do what it takes. Because the odds are against them.

It becomes clearer then, that our romantic “idealism” is especially twisted. Instead of the ideal being perfect, we draft images and scenes of a dramatic yearning that cannot be fulfilled in our lifetime. In a sense, then, our idealism regarding war-time romance borders more on reality than utopia.

Need this false ‘idealism’ be a bad thing? No.

If it is reality and drama we want in a relationship, then don’t we get exactly what we hoped for? To experience the whole spectrum of emotions: from anger, to sadness, to regret, to happiness. To be a more fulfilled person.

Truth is, we want to battle. If you have too much love; if you are too happy, you are (strangely enough) not happy; not fulfilled. Just as in a war time romance, you want to feel that the person you’re with will want to see it through to the end with you even if that means a lot of (internal) destruction may lie in your paths. And in that strange dichotomy lies the true nature of our idealism – circumstances shouldn’t be perfect; the person shouldn’t be perfect; the ‘perfection’ lies in trying to make it through anything.

In a sense, we want to ‘escape’ into reality; live though it; fight through it. Why fight fighting?

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