Monday, September 20, 2010

Having twins

Everyone knows that emotions frequently come in pairs. Which is why moments of great sadness are also often moments of great joy, and vice a versa. And why people often feel depressed at, or just after, their moment of victory. Or elated, in an unexpected way, at their moment of supposed defeat. This is partly tied to the fact that all defeats and victories are relative, and everything contains the seeds of its opposite. So, like a baby learning to walk, from our "defeats" come eventual victories, and from our victories come eventual defeats - for example the silence of ex-beatle Paul Mc Cartney, or the punch-drunkeness of Mohammed Ali.

You'd think the above would be a truism, but its not. People often seem surprised when others display two intense emotions simultaneously, when you're "supposed" to be only experiencing one. So giggling at funerals (perhaps because of the pomp and ceremony of it all), or sobbing as you're handed your long-awaited for Oscar (and perhaps feeling strangely numb or empty inside, not at all as you imagined it might be) while being perfectly natural or normal, are often regarded as slightly 'deviant' responses. And of course they're not. Because we've got twins.

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