Monday, 1 February 2010
I just finished reading Marguerite Alexander's Grievance and it has been quite a revelation. Apart from its actual plot, politics and characters, the larger strain of the book is grief and how people deal with it. On being dealt a personal blow, some people might spend years walking about with a sense of injury, believing that that particular incident has forever entitled them to no longer be accountable for what they do thereon. If such dastardly fate has been visited upon them, then it's only right that they go through life with more concessions than those who've had it better.
Others spend the rest of their days dealing with it with exemplary forbearance. But dealing with it so consciously that it erodes their naturalness, because every moment is spent on guard, manually and mindfully 'managing' their emotions. They can't relinquish control and ironically have done the exact opposite of what they'd set out to do - let the incident define them.
And then there is, in my personal experience, people who do neither, choosing instead temporarily gratifying and often self-destructive diversions. Still others will ply themselves with self-assurances so hollow, meaningless, even facetious, that you're frightened to think about what will happen when they do eventually crumble.
So what is the right way to deal with something bad that has happened to you? Do you keep running till you find you're all alone? Do you make it you get-out-of-jail card for everything? Or do you just let time take the reins, letting it choose how and when you will finally be free?