I’m just thinking about the way we sometimes get attached to things that are not good for us. Something tantalizes us and we are drawn, perhaps against our common sense, perhaps completely innocently. Suddenly we are trapped as attachments glue us firmly to the thing that beguiles us.
It might be a person we fall for. It might be a substance. Others can look at us and see the dangers. We are blind to them in the immersion of our delight as the endorphins of discovery flood our senses.
Our intoxication might destroy us, as alcohol, cigarettes and heroin break down those who adore them. In a short time or a long time their impact is always negative. However, what beguiles us might benefit us. While it might fill us with a gleeful obsession for years, it may also act as muse, fueling dreams and imaginings. So while others only noticed irritating dangers looming over us, some take the danger, celebrate it, and turn it into something beautiful.
Petrarca’s obsession is a case in point. Sure his adoration of Laure endured for decades, well past the time she was moldering in her crypt in Avignon. The poetic expression of his obsession has lasted even longer, coming onto seven centuries. Petrarca prayed to be released from it, to be free to focus his adoration on his God. The writings at the end of his life suggest he felt he reached the stage of relief eventually, but thankfully the hundreds of poems about her remain as a testimony to the benefits of obsessive adoration and addiction to an ideal.