“I have lost all my gifts and wits that you have bestowed upon me. Why have you betrayed the most loyal lover in the world, who was never false in his love nor broke his faith in any way whatever? I am the tree which you planted and endowed with good fruit and all other virtues, but now you have completely filled me with pain and anguish and grief.” (205)
Background: Tristan is confused over a letter he found addressed to his brother-in-law who was sick with love for Iseut. Tristan is angered that Iseut is being faithless. Truthfully, the letter is meant to console him rather than reciprocate his love. But this is misunderstood by Tristan who bewails his misfortune.
Thought: Often we forget the important hidden layers of love that bind us. Love unifies hearts, minds and bodies. It is the bridge to connectivity, empathy and understanding. Tristan claims his love for Iseut is like a tree she planted in him which from it stems forth all virtue, good qualities and works of prowess. He identifies with this love so innately that it becomes his very lifeblood. Therefore, he is confounded at any obstacles to it. Tristan misconstrues the intention of his faithful lover, who only seeks to console his beloved friend and brother-in-law. Yet, there is something about love that makes us mad, possessive and jealous and protective. In fact, just as love gives it can equally take away. Our love transfixes our heart blood and identity and through it we make our works of labour, and, like a tree, bear fruit. Just as we are done we can be undone, for to lose that life that has root us is truly life-threatening. We yearn for connection, and to lose that is like sinking into the dark depths of despair. Tristan, without Iseut, is no longer living but dead.
Intention: The emphasis on faithfulness is the very bed rock of fruitful and fruit bearing love. It is to be distant but near, to be embroiled in worldly pursuits but intimate with the love of God and the surroundings. In this moment, here and now, how can I be more faithful to my love? Whether you are thinking of your sweetheart or the omnipotent God above, ask yourself if you are faithful and true. Love is a bond of unity, a covenant and oath. To love deeply and truly and dwell in that perfect love requires fealty to a deficit. In the realization of the ultimate vanity and futility of worldly love we come to find that perfect love stems from our own inner creation and that of Nature, through God. Complete dependence on the higher forces that have built all things is a basic human fact that many choose to ignore through blindness, ignorance or deafness. Regardless, He is still there, listening to every thought and word. Here is a concluding thought to meditate on…
“He was her life, he was her death; without him nothing on earth could alleviate her suffering, and never, so she said, would she have any comfort.”