19 April 2014

Aristophanes in Plato's symposium

It is amazing the things we come across when insomnia hits.

I have a book to read and yet, neither my mind or eyes could focus on it.  I don't know if I will be able to.  At least not for a while at least. So I will place it onto the bookshelf until the time may come that I will re-open its covers.

Instead in the depths of the early hours, I have just read a translation of Aristophanes speech in Plato's symposium. Within it, there is such simple beauty, reflecting the naïve hope that we, each "find" our other half, their discussion upon their thoughts of "love".

There is one particular part of his speech, where the words have such simple beauty within them, yet they are words that reflect that naïve hope . . .perhaps the thing that we hope to "find", in whatever way, or wherever we may seek it . . .is it a naïve hope?

"And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment: these are the people who pass their whole lives together; yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell.."

Sometimes words from others have such simplicity, yet, can hold such depth, such meaning such truth . . words which can at times touch, right through to leaving one breathless.

Maybe it is a naïve hope.

Things happen which give us hope that we may one day find what it is that we may seek, the thing that we may hope to find.  And hope can be dashed, it can be trampled and crushed and discarded.  Maybe we looked in the wrong place.  Maybe we are looking for something that isn't ultimately possible to find.  Maybe it just isn't. 

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