Kendra: Your life is very different dan mine.
Buffy: You mean the part where I occasionally have one? Yeah, I guess it is. (carves at a stake)
Kendra: De tings you do and have, I was taught, distract from my calling. Friends, school… even family.
Buffy: Even family?
Kendra: My parents, dey sent me to my Watcher when I was very young.
Buffy: How young?
Kendra: I don’t remember dem, actually. I’ve seen pictures. But, uh, dat’s how seriously de calling is taken by my people. My modder and fadder gave me to my Watcher because dey believed dat dey were doing de right ting for me, and for de world. (puts down the stake and gets a sympathetic look from Buffy) Please, I don’t feel sorry for meself. Why should you?
Buffy: I don’t know, I… I guess it just sounds very lonely.
Kendra: Emotions are weakness, Buffy. You shouldn’t entertain dem.
Buffy: Kendra, my emotions give me power. They’re total assets! (emphases mine)
Kendra: (picks up her knife) Maybe. For you. But I prefer to keep an even mind. (wipes the blade)
Buffy: (puts down her knife) Mm. I guess that explains it.
Kendra: Explains what?
Buffy: (plays with the stake) Oh, well, when we were fighting, uh, you’re amazing! Your technique, it’s flawless, it’s, hmm, better than mine.
Kendra: I know.
Buffy: Still, I woulda kicked your butt in the end. And ya know why? No imagination.
Kendra: (rubs her blade more vigorously) Really? Ya tink so? (puts down the rag)
Buffy: Oh, I know so. You’re good, but power alone isn’t enough. A good fighter needs to know how to improvise, to go with the flow. Uh-uh, seriously, don’t get me wrong, y-you really do have potential. (puts away the stake)
Kendra: (holds her knife ready) Potential? I could wipe de floor wit you right now!
Buffy: (looks Kendra in the eye) That would be anger you’re feeling.
Buffy: You feel it, right? How the anger gives you fire? A Slayer needs that.
—(Excerpt from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “What’s My Line? – Part 2”—
It feels so pretentious to try and compare my minute existence with the larger-than-life world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that’s part of what I love about the show. Joss Whedon has this amazing ability to take everyday conflicts (in this case: the pressures of growing up) and magnify them into grandly dramatic story lines. It seems like his intention is to bring meaning to our otherwise dull reality, because contrary to humble opinion, those experiences are important. They affect our vision of ourselves and the world around us, and we carry them with us for the rest of our lives. They mold us as we grow and change throughout life. They deserve attention.
So…it was… implied to me once that the vitality of my emotions was a weakness; it made me codependent, clingy, at the very least way too sensitive. Apparently I allowed my emotions to rule my life, and as a result I was way too reliant upon external support. I needed to learn to practice resilience in solitude if I was ever to control them and finally become master of my internal domain. My response?
L’s: “Fuck solitude, how about solidarity?”
Loving people doesn’t make me fragile, it reinforces my spirit like steel ribbing. I love to love, but I think what’s scary for many people is the inherent vulnerability of love. Of course, its vulnerability is part of what makes it beautiful. As Paulo Coelho so eloquently puts it, “Love is an act of faith in another person, not an act of surrender.” (Excerpt from Manuscript Found in Accra) To love is courage, not frailty. It takes some balls to push that energy out into the universe. Sometimes it will come back to bite you square in the ass, but most of the time that’ll just be your lover getting a little playful… teehehee. So yeah, it’s scary, but I’d rather try than “protect” my heart beneath layers of emotional barriers… like an onion… or a parfait…
So, from this quote I take away the following: Love is strength, not weakness; and from a larger perspective, the process of growth is never finished, and the very fact that it is ever-evolving should impart the profundity of its magnitude…. POP-POP!
….Yeah, I’m half serious, half ridiculous… enjoy.
Current Jam: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” Jay Z