Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The fallibility of the human beast is both inevitable and incontrovertible; and each of us, at some point (and usually on a regular basis) is guilty of creating out of human flesh, a shining paragon, imbuing them with infinite wisdom, commensurate insight and an incandescent ability to comprehend and deal with all of life’s vicissitudes... and then, when the gloss begins to dull, when the gold becomes tarnished and is shown to be fake, when the solidity of person becomes suspect, we destroy them.

I think most of us yearn to harbour at some point, an implacable belief in someone, in their ability to cope and in their comprehension and grasp of elemental issues and problems which leave you flailing.

The reality of course is that each and every one of us are fallible human beings.

Each of us harbours moments of insight and fillips of wisdom but in large part, we all fumble through this life and through a combination of luck, blind faith and ignorance make our halting way through crisis and joys equally.

The unfairness of creating in another frail human spirit delusions of godhead, grandiose abilities to predict and unrealistic abilities to soothe, comprehend and “fix” is ultimately so unfair yet so human.

My father was my first (but not my last) clay god. Adored, cosseted, imbued with mystery bolstered by his emotional remoteness, his physical (in our early years) distance (first five years in Canada while my sister and I and our mother were in Ireland – then travelled extensively all week for the first many years in Canada and in other countries), our mother was a god-maker. In our early days, we drank in her accolades to his intelligence, his wisdom, his abilities and talents.

And I was my “daddy’s girl”- his feisty, flame haired, hot tempered passionate child who ignored his physical discomfort with affection and countered it with the enthusiastic affection taught by a mother (for while by nature, loving, he had been brought up since 2 in an almost isolated state in boarding school – he was in his own way, Ebenezer Scrooge without the meanness) and whose enthusiasm and adoration was a balm to a man who in the end cherished his family above all else.

My disillusionment was protracted and gradual; an erosion of faith, a breaking of trust, an awareness of self that allowed me to see things (I thought) from a perspective which showed me what I then perceived as “truth”. Over the years, I learned the difference between intelligence and “business smarts”, between self-knowledge and a refusal to face realities and ultimately, how wilfully blind an individual could be – and where I once saw strength I saw weakness and where I saw resolve, I found excuses.

But I also learned that TRUTH is not cast in stone; TRUTH was the WAY THINGS WERE without the patina of pretence nor the distortions of perspective (or so I thought then). It was only maturity and experience that showed me there is no TRUTH – only your perception of it – perceptions based on your knowledge, experience and insight AT THAT MOMENT. A new twist, a nugget of new insight, a smidgen of another’s reality and all could change.

What is it in the human spirit that demands perfection in another when the lack of same is so apparent in ourselves?

Is it a reaching for the stars? That implacable, confusing, awe-inspiring human spirit that keeps seeking a flawless individual to worship? Our history is riddled with the human need to find something beyond themselves, a spirit, a need, a being who transcends our human fragilities and in so doing, somehow promises redemption.

Perhaps more than many other lifestyles, many of those in D/s or particularly, M/s power exchanges tend to romanticize and mythecize their respective roles. Of course, the end result is that the rich, three-dimensional tapestry of human emotion and personality is then reduced to a two-dimensional canvas with neither life nor movement.

Unfortunately, for those who insist on creating caricatures out of the intricacy of the human beast, there is also the inevitability of disillusionment – not the possibility but the inevitability. For each of us carries with us the seeds of our own destruction; we have embedded in our very humanity the realities of our own fallacies and our inability to see clearly our own intransigence.

Yet we rail and cry foul when our heroes tumble from the pedestals onto which we pushed them. We are outraged when beliefs created in our own fervid imaginations fall to dust and are swept away on the breath of betrayal.

But in the end, it is our own fault.

For wanting to believe.


M:e said...

I wonder sometimes if our drive to put our loved ones on a pedestal is a subconscious desire to see in others the qualities we want to see in ourselves. If that's true, then you are right, we will always be disappointed, for none of us will ever embody all the qualities we value in many in one human form.

love and hugs xxx

Jz said...

What I find particularly unnerving is how we can see no wrong in others but no right in ourselves. The mind knows that the truth is somewhere in the middle but does it convince the feelings?
(for myself: no)

Vesta said...

Selkie: A lovely, rich piece of writing and there are so many comments I could make. I guess the one at the tip of my tongue is that I feel proud of my own progress and growth. I no longer expect perfection in anyone or even in myself. But, I have a certain nature which needs to be expressed and so too does my husband. He's demonstrated his failings over time and I, mine.
Imperfect though we are, we balance each other out well.

Yes, people do put on their rose coloured glasses (as have I) and when the person inevitably falters, it's quite the shock. But, one ultimately develops wisdom, and 90% great is, after all, not that bad of a score.

Anonymous said...

"But in the end, it is our own fault.

For wanting to believe. "

oddly though to believe is the only thing that makes life worth living. Not success, not family nor friends, not even love. For non of those are possible unless you believe.

In the magic words at the end of A Miracle on 34th Street (the original)

"I believe, I believe, it's silly but I believe."

and you should too.

selkie said...

elle, indeed I think that is one of the traps into which we all fall; we seek perfection in ourselves and wish too to see it reflected from outside ourselves.

JZ – amen to that; I still struggle with why so many of us are so harsh on ourselves; so unforgiving and relentless in our search for validity.

Vesta- I wish we all had your insight and wisdom, girl – truly I do – although I know as with all of us, neither comes easy nor without a price!

Sir J. – ahh- truth indeed – but the saying is the easy – the doing SO difficult.