The Splendiferous Scheherazade and the Secret to Lasting Love (Perhaps)

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I was exposed to classical music, opera, ballet, and a lot of other arty things at a young age because of my grandparents. I vividly remember being in the back seat of the car with my grandfather and grandmother upfront driving though tree lined streets during the autumn, listening to my favorite piece of classical music: Scheherazade (it’s a long piece, but if you want to listen to it, here it is). It is playing now in the background as I type.

Do you know the story behind 1,001 Nights? It is the story of a sultan whose first wife was unfaithful. To never feel the sting of betrayal again, every night he marries a new woman, only to have her killed the next day, before she has the chance to be unfaithful. One day, however, he marries the splendiferously brilliant Scheherazade, a woman unlike any of those who came before her. She enraptures the sultan with her magical storytelling, weaving a tale that lasts for 1,001 nights. On that last night, the sultan comes to the conclusion that the pleasure of this woman’s company, who kept him enthralled over all of this time, was worth the risk of betrayal.

Admittedly, this story is a bit farfetched, but let me tell you my take on this story: a woman must be very special indeed to keep the attention of a man. Men are the most fickle creatures, with attention spans not much greater than that of a peanut.  In the beginning you will fascinate him, that’s not a huge deal. In the beginning you are unlike any other to him. But as time passes and the novelty wears off, the woman who once seemed so unique no longer holds his interest. It makes me wonder what happened to Scheherazade after her story ended.

Should a woman always keep part of the story untold? Or in other words, should she always keep a bit of herself to herself? Personally, it seems a little sad to me, to never be loved in your entirety, to always have to hold something back to keep your love interest wanting more. Maybe, however, it is necessary. My ex husband knew me on a level that no other human being has come close to. Being that I’m a legend in my own mind, I would think that truly knowing me would make him appreciate me all the more. Rather than treasure me, however, Dr ManWhore was always on the look out for more (possibly better?). My story got old I guess. Looking back I can clearly see how that happened. If you have ever lived your life in the service of a man, you will know that over time, the pages of your life can easily loose some their richness. The unfortunate fact is that your book becomes easier to put down when you become too comfortable. I don’t want to make that mistake again. At the same time, I long to find the man who adores me to the extent that he will want to read me from cover to cover, over and over again. I want my pages to be underlined in places and bookmarked in others. When it’s all over, I want my spine to be worn and peeling at the edges. I want to be read until the pages come apart from their binding. What makes this happen?  Why do some books get checked out all the time while others collect dust on the shelf?

The only thing I can think of is what Scheherazade figured out. She created a “never ending story.” To translate this into terms of men and women, it is about constantly evolving and never stagnating. It is about staying interested and interesting. So much so, that even when the cover fades, it is still worth leafing through the crumbling pages.

I would love to know your thoughts on this one. Share with the class dollies.

12 Comments

    1. That’s my favourite line too! So beautiful!
      Maybe that’s why arranged marriages boast of a higher success rate, atleast according to my extended family’s views..by the time we reach a chapter that makes us realise that this book isn’t necessarily for us, so much time has passed. That’s probably one of the reasons marrying complete strangers sometimes last longer. Remind me to put forth this theory to my family! 😉
      I know what you mean though. Who wouldn’t want to be with a person that knows you completely and loves you for and despite everything. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another fabulous post, Caroline! I’m listening to this beautiful song while I read your post and now type my comment. Isn’t the music kind of like a favorite book or loving relationship? It builds and then gets quiet again…kind of like a good, solid relationship. I just love your analogy of a well worn, loved library book to a woman being loved over time. I agree with your sentiments in that we need to be loved in our entirety but also remain interested. It’s a mutual thing. LOVED this and thank you for sharing your favorite song, I can picture you riding in the backseat of the car, a little girl all dressed up for a special outing with her grandparents. What a wonderful memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so beautiful. But so sad. Yes, never stagnate, but surely it shouldn’t be that hard? Surely those career building, child rearing, generally busy with life’s nuances years mean you can find solace and comfort in each other sometimes without having to be so constantly engaging? I’m a huge fan of passion, of excitement, of intellectual and physical stimulation, but hey, I’m with you, caroline. Read me again. Mark your favourite passages and return to those, the story doesn’t need to be constantly fresh and new.

    Perfect post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For twenty-two years love was fun and easy for me. Then it wasn’t anymore. I don’t think it is that complicated, or messy. Just some people are. It will happen for you. And it will be fun and easy. I know this ♥.

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  3. I am not sure it is about holding back… I’m not convinced anyone can know us or love us as much as we know and love ourselves. You should be a legend in your own mind, its okay. Loving yourself is the most important part of all this… other people loving you for you, whatever you you want to be, is icing on the cake! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It hasn’t been easy for me either… realizing I am separate from my husband, our lives are separate, our love is separate and I do not have to hold his baggage. That the causes of my pain and stress really aren’t about me, but they affect me, and I am carrying them around and I need to do better. In regards to your comment to Paula above, you are correct, love shouldn’t be so complicated and I am not sure love is. The complicated part is the whole living with another human being, feeling attached to them, accepting them for who they are, realizing you can love someone and it might not work out in the end. You and Paula know that feeling… I haven’t had to live it yet, hopefully I never will, but I am prepared. Love and long term relationships are completely separate animals, one being of the heart, the other being made of much more grounded stuff, and the much tougher path. {{hugs}}

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post and great story. Your ex knew you like no one ever before. My ex did, too. I loved very freely and comfortably without fear of abandonment. I feel like that’s gone forever. Not that I won’t love but that I’ll always be very aware that nothing is guaranteed. And, yes, that men are fickle and constantly need newness in a relationship/marriage. So, is it holding back? Not sure. I think you are on to something about constantly evolving. To have your partner always be in awe of you. Like they need you because you make your life better. Sounds exhausting honestly. But I’ve now vowed to never let my relationship go into cruise control. Lessons learned after divorce and heartbreak. Xo

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