Ever encountered the tragedy of unrequited love? No? Then how about having known someone who has? It’s got to be a major bummer! And the effects take many variant forms, each depending on the psyche of the individual affected, as well as the intensity of the desire. Some would suffer in silence and hope against hope, some would prefer to discuss the matter with close friends or family, some would go on a binge, some would allow the ‘love’ to slowly fester and metamorphose into hate, some would be so affected that they would determine never to love again and so on. Paul Simon writes of this condition in his song ‘I am a rock’ and one of the verses expresses his feelings succinctly:

Don’t talk of love
But I’ve heard the words before
It’s sleeping in my memory
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island

That’s one way out, I guess, but does it solve the problem? ‘Love’ has so very many effects and curing a case of unrequited love can get to be pretty hairy for all concerned – depending, as always, on the affected individual.

So what is the cure for the depressing condition? The philosophers have a variety of answers, but this would be too considerable a subject to delve into sufficiently here. Instead, I’ll give you the complete lyrics to the song. And maybe we could get into this another time? Here goes:

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock
I am an island

I’ve built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain
Its laughter and its loving I disdain
I am a rock
I am an island

Don’t talk of love
But I’ve heard the words before
It’s sleeping in my memory
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

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