Part way through “The First Love”

by Andrea Elizabeth

A Comedy in One Act by Scribe in Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard. What a unique writer he is. Dostoevsky is the closest to him, in my opinion. He has freedom to not connect dots in the usual way which is to make everything come full circle with a tidy bow. But it’s not the modern alternative of meaningless chaos either. And it’s not contradiction for contradiction sake like abstract art can also be. It’s not conflict, but freedom. Freedom not to do the expected.

How funny that you can’t have “an occasion in general”. I wonder if reality is a synonym for his occasion. And the occasion can be thought to symbolize something like one’s one true love, but then later this can be denied. So did that make the first impression wrong? I think he is being apophatic. The lover may convince himself that he never loved, he may forget that he ever loved, he may indeed love the next so much more that the first no longer compares, but none of this denies the first love. But if it is denied and/or not committed to marriage, then it is set free, so then freedom becomes the first love. Free to love or not, and to remember and thus make it eternal.

Then the story about his review of The First Love follows the same pattern of loving the play because he was in love and then having the love acted on then not acted on and later denied and then remembered by constant exposure to the symbolic play and then not finishing the review and then only having it published against his will because he spilt ink on someone else’s writings and so owed it to him or else he would have been liable for someone else’s life’s work. So he was pretty much forced into consummating his writing at the pain of life or death. Perhaps his first love would have worked out if she had had no other alternative. Did Regina have too much support so that she didn’t need him enough? She wasn’t devastated enough by his withdrawal?

But she was suicidal. Why did this not matter enough? There is a theme mentioned a couple of times so far in this book about the inner pain of the heart needing to find its echo in one’s support system. Kierkegaard suffered from abiding melancholy. Maybe he had to recreate that in Regina, or maybe they already shared it. To be happily married would not have provided a suitable echo for his inner disposition. A failed engagement did. And his disposition was to find the echo in words and not in relationship.

“The Unhappiest One”

by Andrea Elizabeth

I suppose, is to lighten the mood. Margarete at the end of “Silouettes” is so poignant in her sweet sorrow. At least she has recollection, if not Elvira’s hope. The unhappiest one talks himself out of everything. He is not engaged in the present, the future, or the past. But neither is he apathetic. He keeps missing the boat.

Next in Either/Or,  “A Comedy in One Act”. Yay. Goodbye, tragedy.


by Andrea Elizabeth

In the “Silhouettes” chapter of Either/Or Kierkegaard searches out women’s sorrow like a knight errant. The sorrow most manifested in a scorned woman. In my usual ambivalence, I both wonder if it’s his business and find it priestly. But if a woman has been scorned and is not able to reattach to someone else, who else can help her? Other women may sympathize, but we need someone of the same gender as the offender to understand in their stead.

What if Kierkegaard interviewed Regina after he broke off his engagement to her and understood her better than the others around her, even his replacement? He would probably call it ironic.

In the continuous cycle of thoughts – I’m up to the end of Elvira’s section on page 204 – I like the more positive ones. The negative ones are self-defensive. The positive ones are vulnerable love. But should one keep onesself vulnerable to an untrustworthy person? The Catholics would say yes, but will allow for annulments. Supposedly this is still more conservative than the Orthodox because I guess the offender couldn’t ever be off the hook. Just the faithful victim?

That places unfaithfulness as the unforgivable sin. The unfaithful one would not be granted a second – first real – marriage in the church and would thus be denied communion if he sought it elsewhere. There is no repentance for that because it would require another divorce. The Orthodox don’t think permanent lines in the sand can be drawn like that. People can grow a conscience and make better decisions with maturity.

I would rather Elvira forgive Giovanni and pray for his salvation. Then she can be at peace.

by Andrea Elizabeth

“There is nothing worse than a monk who does not consistently do his spiritual tasks. The people in the world love present life, and by partaking in its pleasures, they deceive themselves and enjoy it. The ones who deny worldly life and its pleasures for the sake of spiritual life, experience true joy and divine pleasures which cannot be compared to anything.

However, those monks, who left the world for the sake of spiritual life – for which they give their monastic vows – and neglect their spiritual tasks, are the most miserable people. For they do not enjoy any worldly pleasures, and even if they desire them, it hurts their consciousness as they go against their promises. If by any chance, their disposition is inclined towards worldly pleasures and finally they indulge in them, they cannot even feel the fake happiness like the rest of the people, as their conscience does not permit them to do so. Since they d not do their spiritual work, they cannot experience spiritual satisfaction either. As a result, they live a terrible life, unable to feel either the joy of worldly pleasures like the people of the world, or experience spiritual fulfillment like the spiritual monks.” Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, pg. 140.

notes after The Tragic in Ancient Drama

by Andrea Elizabeth

from Kierkegaard’s Either/Or. Seems to me that Antigone’s inheritance of her father’s guilt is voluntarily taken. Kierkegaard may have discussed it because of his inherited western tradition of inherited guilt. The fact that Antigone was so loyal to it does not have to be an ontologically given association, but could be a psychological belief in it. Kierkegaard also discussed her love for her father and the ancient Greek belief in determinism: that she was fated to protect Oedipus’s secret.

Perhaps Kierkegaard’s alternative was even more tragic to him given the romantic influence of his time.

Tragedy shows us that life isn’t fully realized in this world; it is hinted at. I hope he discusses comedy later.

all we are

by Andrea Elizabeth

goat gotten

by Andrea Elizabeth

I’ll bet you $10 that the people who smugly defend the indissolubility of marriage have never felt afraid of their marriage. They probably feel proud of their marriage. How it justifies them as a successful person, whether they are happy or not. They probably are even more proud of their marriage if they feel they are sticking it out where others might fold. But even then they are not scared of their marriage. And I don’t know if I’ve heard an abandoned spouse, who has faithfully stuck with Catholic teaching and not remarried, go on the internet and criticized the Orthodox recognition of divorce. They’re probably too busy being a single parent, and leave the bragging to others.

Even so, annulments are a way of dissolving marriages by making them magically disappear. And they are administered by the review of a priest – economeia.

Marty Robbins’ Streets of Laredo

by Andrea Elizabeth

why I didn’t post yesterday

by Andrea Elizabeth

I had to find a new toaster oven. The old one is too slow. Probably because it is too big with no extra elements to compensate for the extra air that needs to be heated up. Pop up toasters have the elements right next to the bread, but you can’t pre-butter, so they’re out. If I had been true to my anti-technology convictions, I would have stuck with the old one. Not that it isn’t technological. The Indians would have toasted their sliced bread on a stick over a fire. But technology thrives on, if I’m the least bit inconvenienced, I have to put the “old” in the landfill for one that offers more convenience. Used to be old was at least 500 years. I actually would have stuck it out, but my husband is an engineer and he makes toast on Saturday mornings, and the ever increasing slowness was really messing with his groove. I told the three kids I rode to Connecticut with last week that I participate in technology as a sacrifice of love for them. If they have cell phones, then I need one, or else they would have to write me a letter, since 5 out of 6 of them have now moved out, and the one in Connecticut is now married to a Connecticut girl. But the mail from Connecticut takes almost the same amount of time as the mail from Grapevine. Not that they call anyway, but they do text sometimes, and I would probably text while blundering into the Morris Dancers. So beat me up. It would make my day. Heck, liking that article already did the job, so thanks for making my day. Really. But Clint only said that because he knew he would win. I believe that I would lose if these smooth talkers really engaged what I wrote. They’re just being condescendingly nice to the hick by not. Thanks for your patronage. Really. Except when they’re not. The thing is, I’m a content over style person, except when it’s dancing. Then style is everything. Not that raw emoting can’t be beautiful, but when it’s jerky, atheist Darwinist emoting, it’s just gross. Monkeys are smoother than that. Actually, Clint didn’t care whether he would win or lose. Apathy can give a person the edge.

But I really like the new toaster. It’s smaller and the elements heat up faster, I just found out. And the new silver lining reflects a lot of light, so it’s really shiny, sparkly pretty. I almost let myself get more into character and said it gives me feels, but that’s gross.

Before I went to Walmart to get the toaster and other various and sundries, my dog killed one of my horse trainer’s chickens. I hadn’t realized Merry’s long leash wasn’t in the car, so I had to put her in the empty peacock pen. After my ride on the fabulous multitatlented Copper, the half Arabian, half quarter horse strawberry blond wonder, I heard the sound of dog chasing distressed little half-grown chick and ran to the pen where it had somehow gotten itself trapped. I yelled, No, Merry! But she wouldn’t cease and desist and by the time I got there she was huddled in the corner over her prey. I pulled her off and the little thing was half through the chain link like Winnie the Pooh in Rabbit’s hole. It was blinking, crooked and still. I called to the trainer who got her out and said her neck was broken. She held her till she died. She put her in a horse feed bag that had other barn trash in it and told me to take it to the “curb” which isn’t a curb because it’s a country road with grassy edges. She said it was ok, she has lots more. She raises them mostly to keep the bug population down. She has 3 different broods right now. If Merry’s on a long leash, the chickens can outrun her as she runs out of slack. But in a confined space she has the advantage. I’m thinking that since she was a stray she survived on birds. She’s very fast. The trainer’s mostly shelter obtained 9 dogs run free and herd the chickens a little, but don’t catch them. She’s a good trainer, and Merry listens a little more to her than me, but maybe she doesn’t want to take over, or she knows Merry is too hard wired.

On the way down the driveway, Joe, our horse that is boarded there, followed me, and Rebecca, who was riding, let him. When I turned around, the wind, and it was pretty windy, flapped the bag and he jerked back and stopped. I slowly approached and he sniffed it. I think he felt bad for the little bird and wanted to pay his respects. I got the feeling as I continued walking down the streets of Laredo that the little bird could hear the crickets chirping and was comforted by all of our tributes. I dedicated the wildflowers, and even the few strewn plastic flowers, blown off some of the jumps by the wind, to her as I passed them. She thanked me for trying to stop Merry, for being sorry, and for not letting her get torn into little bits as she died.

That was before I also had to get more granulated and tablet chlorine for my new algae plume in the pool. After I spent a lot of money and added the new products, I decided to research the high cyanuric acid level on my new test strips. Turns out that most pool chlorine adds cyanuric acid to stabilize the chlorine from the destabilizing effect of sunlight. But our pool is mostly shaded, so the acid level has built up to over 100, causing the chlorine to be ineffective. The only way to get rid of it is to partially drain the pool. Then it will build up again as you chlorinate. Great. Now I’ll have to find some liquid chlorine that doesn’t have it.

It was also before I went to the cleaners and picked up my daughters’ bridesmaid dresses, and my and George’s parent outfits from the wedding we got back from 1 week ago today. May God bless the happy couple.



I agree

by Andrea Elizabeth

19 Reasons Dateline’s Keith Morrison Is Television’s Greatest Gift to Mankind



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