November 21, 2020

Aren’t our emotions conflicted at the best, and often at the worst of times?

Kathleen Hardie

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Parsnips and Rainbows, 2018

My mind to me a kingdom is;/Such perfect joy within I find. Well bully for Sir Edward Dyer. (1545-1607) Wouldn’t it be great if all were as content in mind as he proclaims himself to be? In actual fact, most of us belong to a species whose default position is a mix of contradictory emotions. In this monologue, I’ve tried to follow the path of the protagonist to illustrate the various emotional responses to some tragic aspects of her life. Most of us recognise the irrationality which is part of our general make-up. Along with this irrationality goes the coping mechanism with the setbacks we face in everyday living. Yet. At the most solemn of occasions, the mind can harbour a grudge and sustain it over the years for something as trivial as an unfavourite vegetable, like my protagonist with everything else she has to contend with. There is the ongoing rage at her public humiliation but at the end I try to show that in spite of disillusion, and with a resigned acceptance of circumstances, some kind of love endures. And by the way – the Dyer poem today – would it be considered tongue-in-cheek? Or did they have tongue-in-cheek then?