Saturday, January 24, 2009

the beast as bridegroom: thoughts on cupid and psyche

psyche (because of poisonous rumors from her sisters) begins to believe that the reason her husband will not allow her to see him is because he is a serpent, waiting to devour their first child the moment it is born. so vividly does psyche's imagination paint this terror that she must discover if it is true or not. that night she brings an oil lamp and dagger into the bedchamber, intending to discover her husband's true identity once he has fallen asleep, and if he be a serpent, to kill him.

when i love someone i am vulnerable. little hearsays make me wonder about his true identity. i create worlds in which what i have experienced of him has only been a guise for a cavernous darkness, for a monster bent on seducing me with kindnesses only to the purpose of eating me, using me, devouring me at some moment when i need his strength more than anything. we doubt each other. we doubt what we've experienced of each other. we let our imaginations carry us away to the point of mistrust. maybe that is one of our greatest fears--that the one perfect, most supremely beautiful thing in our lives will one day reveal itself to be nothing more than a mirage. no, worse than a mirage, a black hole. a demon disguised as an angel.

so we bring our daggers to our bedchamber, ready to strike the moment that "true" identity is revealed. with so, so much mistrust, we light our lamps after they've fallen asleep, when they are vulnerable and perfectly innocent. and we see them as they are. gods. and suddenly we have forgotten all our doubts, and are overcome with sublime love for them.

believe in what he has shown you to be. not what you fear he is.

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