Dooms Day

  
La Mort de César (ca. 1859–1867) by Jean-Léon Gérôme

 
Caesar:

Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music

Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
 
Soothsayer:

Beware the ides of March.
 
Caesar:

What man is that?
 
Brutus:

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
 
Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19
 
Today is bad omen day, or “I told you so” day. Julius Caesare apparently was warned of the treachery that awaited him at the Senate–many times and ways–yet he remained in denial, denying even his own gut feeling that the nasty-liver-missing-heartless entrails of a dozen or more sacrificed beasts did not bode well.
 
According to UK’s The Telegraph, The Ides of March: The assassination of Julius Caesar and how it changed the world, Caesar was warned by an entrails reader that ill fortune awaited him. According to this account, Caesar actually died with an unopened scroll in his hands, given to him by a messenger warning him of the treachery. But nooooo, he had to go to show good appearances, at the beckoning of his so-called friends and countrymen.
 
For drama’s sake, Shakespeare spiced up Caesar’s departure with parting words, “Et tu, Brute?” and anyone who knows anything popularly about Caesar’s death, probably knows it through Shakespeare’s play, required reading in many high schools and undergraduate college courses.
 
In the English-speaking world, we know a slightly different story, thanks to Shakespeare. He lifted Caesar’s dramatic dying words, “Et tu, Brute?” from an earlier play by Richard Edes, and made them a part of the assassination mythology. In reality, most Roman writers state that Caesar said nothing, but merely pulled his toga up over his face. They do note, however, that some people were spreading the story that Caesar had gasped, “καὶ σὺ, τέκνον?/You too, my child?” to Brutus. (Many Romans of all classes were bilingual, with the more educated frequently preferring to speak Greek.)
 
Most famously, however, Shakespeare does away with Spurinna, the venerable entrails-gazer, and instead invents a soothsayer in a crowd, who shouts the famous prophetic warning to Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March!” It is, perhaps, one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines and, as a direct result, “the Ides” has come to mean a date of doom.
 
Doomsday. I hope not. My father has a doctor’s appointment today in preparation for surgery. The innards of my breakfast cereal looked okay this morning, however. I think it’ll be all right.

Give me back my hour!!

To die, to sleep.

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub

 
 
credit: thephilfactor.com
 

I feel tired, resentfully tired. Like I’ve been robbed. It’s not just an hour. It’s my life!

What Difference Could an Hour Make?

By Michael J. Breus, PhD

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

The daylight-saving time change will force most of us to spring forward and advance our clocks one hour. This effectively moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, giving us those long summer nights. But waking up Monday morning may not be so easy, having lost an hour of precious sleep and perhaps driving to work in the dark with an extra jolt of java. How time changes actually affect you depends on your own personal health, sleep habits, and lifestyle.
 
Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue — light — for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle. How well we adapt to this depends on several things.
 
In general, “losing” an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall. It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time. An “earlier” bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.
 
How long will it take you to adapt to time changes? Though a bit simplistic, a rule of thumb is that it takes about one day to adjust for each hour of time change. There is significant individual variation, however.
 
How will you feel during this transition? If you are getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep and go to bed a little early the night before, you may wake up feeling refreshed. If you are sleep-deprived already, getting by on six hours, you’re probably in a bit of trouble, especially if you consume alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime. In this situation, you may well experience the decrements of performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

 GIVE ME BACK MY HOUR!

Sleep Per Chance: a Tuesday Thought

 
 
Watching you sleep, I see defenselessness, frozen worry pocketed momentarily, far from the muscles in your face that folds into the linen encased pillow. Your eyes roam the darkness inside you. When you awaken, you’ll reach for me, close me into your warmth, your body heat rising as you battle weariness in slumber’s imaginarium fraught with curiosity and care.
 
Easy. Sleep devours some while teases others, a little here and there, never on command. Always an uneasy relationship with sleep, I could write a book on the cruelty and charity of insomnia. After all, some mysteries solve under the light of the moon where the sun smashes them to smithereens, overexposed and heated.
 
“Mommy, what happens when you sleep?” The same kind of question like “How does your eye work?” that left me stumbling when my daughter, then 6, asked me. I did not know what the question meant or how to answer something so ordinary, so taken for granted and so available in the age of the internet. But how to explain it so she would understand was the mystifying assault on my usual ready to inform mode.
 
What happens to anyone in sleep–that great world divider between hope and despair? Death. Death to the waking world, the one we make sense of daily, and birth to the enigmatic world of weirdness and worry. Dream-works piqued wonder to others way before Freud. Prophecies preistesses told by dreams as hypnotic spells. And sleep, so much more than eye rolls, rapid eye movement and rest, reveals time’s illusion. Though the clock handles spin unceasingly while we play dead for so many hours, we have no recollection of its passage and do not experience it as we do awake time. The numbers do not lie, only our consciousness creates bent experiential time.
 
We travel in sleep, we fly, we problem solve and hit all kinds of brain receptors ranging from the pleasurable to the terrifying. As if the horrors of daily grinds, near missed vital truths and fatal accidents, deep abiding love attained and lost, rational solutions and indecipherable chaos, cannot affirm living human sufficiently. We need another look, another more creative, spatial-emotive glance at life’s curious condition to assure ourselves that it is better to live than die: God’s inserted micro chip in each of us. Otherwise, who would be there to entertain IT so thoroughly? Not all the others swaddled in space, far more advanced yet far less amusing than we.
 
credit: flickr.com

To Be or Not To Be…Friends with Your Ex

IMG_0368
credit: cnsnews.com

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The question of whether ex lovers can ever be ‘just friends’ seems to be a non-unanimous ‘maybe.’ Researching the mags and rags a bit, I surmise that befriending an ex successfully is highly improbable but not impossible. Not surprising, it depends on the two people attempting the feat. Essentially, if the two had a good relationship while lovers, were mature, responsible and communicative, they probably could succeed in being just friends.

Several factors come into play, however. How was the breakup? If acrimonious and one sided, the likelihood of morphing into friendship is slim to none, especially if the ex is a cheating ex. Too many hard feelings carry over into the attempted new relationship that do not get resolved unless the one feeling victimized moves on and gets over the hurt likely to be re-inflamed by the person who caused it in the first place, regardless of time passage.

The one who breaks up with the other, always thinks that the other feels the same way. The “erasure of sincerity”, feeling as though you never meant anything to the other, is not something that we can control and makes us slightly hysterical. It is hard to believe that the one who just broke your heart honestly meant it when they said, “I love you,” and now they cannot even say hello to you. friendsandlovers

All articles I perused suggest giving any attempt at friendship the benefit of time. One article suggested no less than a month should pass before exes see each other as friends. I would think more time than that to let the feelings of resentment, regret, anger, love and familiarity dissipate. Familiarity is the most difficult one to completely dissolve, I imagine, as each meeting with the ex will bring up habits, sayings, tics and patterns both recognize and perhaps once found endearing or annoying. Those don’t go away just because the love does. And does the love go away completely? The comfort of knowing someone is available emotionally and physically–or so you thought–to hear your woes and worries, joys and successes, is a powerful bond hard to completely break. We need connection more than anything else from others.

All advisors agree that time is necessary to let feelings fade, mutual breakup is more likely to lead to a more successful attempt at friendship and confirmed open expectations or ground rules must be articulated and adhered to for any promise of friendship. When one has hope for rekindling the fire or the other coming around while that other is already moving on, there will be no friendship, just an extension of what was and worse–an extended breakup. Also, if the same habits and patterns in the relationship exist, for example, the confidential confessions, continual flirting, sex discussions, the friendship will not work, too confusing.

All agree too that the new mate poses problems of jealousy and the true test of friendship: Can you talk to your friend about your new excitement or disappointments or great sex with someone else without jealousy arousal or memories evoked of being naked with your ex? Unlikely, which brings back an earlier point of mutuality of intentions. If you don’t really intend on being friends but are just hanging on or hoping, then the best you can ever hope for eventually is a mere acquaintance. A good friend wants you to be happy and offers support with genuine motivations of giving, not self-interest. If it’s too painful to hear others taking your place or imagining yourself as the stepping stone to someone else’s growth, move on, forget about friendship and better luck next time.

With some, it will take more time than others to develop a friendship. It took ten years to eliminate all traces of emotion infused with memory for one of my exes, but now we are old time-tested friends. Though it rarely occurs, I could drink a beer with him any day and have a laugh without getting caught up in a web of what if’s and when we were’s. But when we have, the reference to some fun time is almost always with a warm wink and a twinkle in the eye–for both of us.

With others, the possibility ended with the ending of the relationship–the good riddance kinds. Some relationships you just know are toxic but are too stubborn or stupid to give up on them in time. They get frothy filthy lowdown with cheats and insults. By the time they peak in brutality sufficient to kill a nation let alone a relationship, one or both are craving the bullet, so that moving on has already occurred. These will never be friendships despite the cold, cold corpse of the relationship. There were too many hard feelings in the first place. Even in time, those will have you questioning what sort of atonement you thought you had to pay to suffer yourself such pain and humiliation.

And with others, regardless of the mutuality of intellectual knowing that “this is the best for both of us,” there will always be a lingering–the one that got away kind. That is the one friend you would love to have because friendship was such a strong basis of the relationship in the first place, but that friendship sat smack dab in the middle of great love making, lots of laughs, a little bit of chemistry and just the right amount of romance. The breakup may have been crushing or calm, but just how close you got to the right thing at the wrong time, or so you thought, is what will linger and prevent the curiosity of what could have been or should have been done. Even when the smell of him or her is long gone, you can still evoke at least the idea of having once had that scent drive you mad with desire, though the pulse of it is now missing.

You know what friendship is and you know what love is by the feel, smell, taste, sound and look of it. The gut knows the difference, but if your stomach doesn’t let you in on the secret, then lose your mind that leads you astray–in meditation. Don’t think long and hard about it, but simply be with it–your true desires and motivations–before you make any agreements to “just be friends” at the breakup, something tossed out by and for the benefit of the breaker, to make him or her feel better by making the breakee feel less abandoned.

It’s always best to clarify what you want before entering relationships, which is not easy and takes time and devotion. But in the end, that knowledge makes you less susceptible to capitulating to another’s needs in neglect of your own, one thing that was probably wrong with the relationship in the first place.

Should ex lovers be friends? Weigh in. Who has had the experience of trying?

References:

Can You Ever Be Friends with Your Ex? askmen.com

Sorry but this is why you can’t be friends with your ex psychologytoday.com

Can You Be Friends With Your Ex? bodyandsoul.com

5 Things to Know About Befriending Your Ex
huffingtonpost.com

Should You Really “Stay Friends” After the Relationship is Over? eharmony.com

Friends or Lovers friendsandlovers.com