“Come to me, death! Why are you delaying so long? Here is Tristan, the wretched, who begs you with all his heart to come and take him in order to put an end to his suffering, from which he cannot escape. I am Tristan who never experienced anything but sadness. I have spent my life in sadness and in sadness and sorrow I’m ending my life.”
Background: Tristan and his love Iseut have been taken from each other. Convention and cultural norms deny the realities of their love, but neither he nor she can deny the feelings they share. The two are weighed by the sad tragedy that their love is against all honor and worldly status.
Thought: Tristan’s name itself is a root for sad or sadness. He is Tristan- French of trist, meaning sad. His name comes after the experience of his birth, which was marked by the sorrows of a two fold death. His father was murdered by untrustworthy barons while his mother died in child birth almost at the same time. His love with Iseut is marked by the same sadness as his birth. By it he both lives and dies in sadness.
Intention: Sadness marks our lives in a multitude of ways. The perfect love and ideal of divinity challenges us to strive for something greater. The world is full of error and sadness, but the real challenge is to ask yourself how you may find inner consolation to alleviate that despair. If something hasn’t worked out for you, how have you found consolation? What were some strategies you used to get through tough times? Tristan laments that his only consolation would be death. But his friends later reassure him that, if he focuses on doing deeds of prowess, he can overcome his despair.