“Always, there is a drop of madness in love, yet always, there is a drop of reason in madness.”
– F. Nietzsche
Since the recent loss of my wife, I have been trying to make sense about love, death, attachment etc at a personal experiential level. All the theory and philosophy that I have studied and am in the process of learning has been of no help whatsoever.
Death of a loved one is a traumatic experience. The aftermath of the initial busyness brings one down to earth with an inexpressible sense of emptiness and loss. No amount of platitudes like ‘time is a great healer’ etc, has any effect. One has to live through it. I am doing that and finding my own way of handling the new situtation.
In my search for some answers, I returned to one of my old time favourites, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig. I had read the book in the eighties. The first time, it went right over my head, but it was being talked about so much, that I read a couple of times more before it made some sense to me.
This is the third copy that I have bought and this time, I found what I was looking for in the Afterword. During the narration, the author goes on a cross USA motorcycle trip with his young son Chris. Some of the scenes describing the trip, conversations with Chris etc, are remarkable in themselves, but the afterword is something altogether different.
Chris, as a grown up young man of early twenties, gets killed by a couple of muggers. What Pirsig goes through with that loss is so beautifully described by him and the way he concludes the narration resonated with me sufficiently and strongly enough for me to come to grips with my own sense of loss and inability to let go.
Yes, there is both madness and reason in love.