To Sing a life worthy of the Sagas



I have frequently mused — to myself and others — that I would like to live a life worthy of being called Shakespearian; whether tragic, comedic, or both. Such thoughts have been in reaction against headlines on dating profiles which proudly proclaim ‘no drama’. Although I have often empathized with the intent in some cases — it’s like wanting to start a relationship fresh and free from the burden of the historical — the baggage of past relationships, for instance — as well as free from the burdens of the present. And part of me also likes the idea of travelling light in general.

But in terms of life and/or relationships, I also like keeping things real. For me that means a life filled with drama. Although the word ‘saga’ has a very specific literary application, it implies to me a very long tale of neverending battles, which are not always won by the protagonist — the race is not always to the swift. The protagonist does not always do the right thing, and the immortal/heavenly/divine/etc beings are just as foolish and errant as humans.

If it is often painful to attract people into my world who are so full of their own drama that they are neither free nor otherwise capable of giving more than a tiny fraction of self or existence to a relationship — yes, part of my own drama is that I can be a very needy soul — much of this pain has to do with not fully living and trusting in the drama that is my own destiny.

The last verse of a song that makes me cry as often as I sing it runs:

‘How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, and threw it all away;
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men,
To find there but the road back home again’

I have written previously of going south to find myself as well as to find and confront the antagonist in the sage of my search for happiness. The tears provoked by the song are at the realization that I’m also seeking the northwest passage, perhaps travelling in the wrong direction, longing for the road home but perhaps never to find it, whether I die en route or whether I just spend aeons trapped in the ice (and I do mean aeons — several lifetimes, perhaps).

So I keep singing the song, because the tears are therapeutic. I also sing it as a kind of mating call, because I know that the only lover I will keep for life is the one whose own life is a mirror of my saga, and therefore we will always be alternating between going south and seeking northwest passages, and not always together, even if my dream is to find a lover to live the sagas side by side — sometimes gazing into each others’ eyes, sometimes standing and gazing together at the antagonists ahead.

I want a love life to be a saga of battles and other bard-worthy dramas. Sometimes this means that we will live separate lives, as another song says. But when I find my lover, I know our love will go down in history. It should be no other way.


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