Friday, April 12, 2013

Too Much Honey: Review of Kay Redfield Jamison's, An Unquiet Mind

I have to wonder if Jamison's wild romantic life didn’t play a more important role than she realizes in bringing on her mania. At some point, this romantic life proved stabilizing and healing (through 2 love affairs with Englishman, and a marriage to a stable, kind man), but the first part of the book hints at irresponsible and dangerous liaisons. No wonder we are warned, in the scriptures, to “guard our heart,” and be careful about “awakening love before it pleases.”

Have we seriously considered the destructive consequences of teen-age love affairs? Of breaking up with 20-30 people over the course of a college career? Of giving ourselves to, and then taking ourselves back, from dozens of beloveds. At some point, this is going to take a toll. It seems it did on Jamison; it seems it further unquieted her already unquiet mind. We talk about the dating game; anyone who has dated knows, this is no game; the world of dating bears more resemblance to a battlefield than a card room: more resemblance to war zone than a time zone. Giving our hearts in intimacy is the most serious transaction we can undergo with another human being; it is, it really is, more serious than war. Going to love is a matter of greater import than going to war.

Jamison remarks jokingly upon her “excessive involvement in pleasurable activities (181).” The book of Proverbs warned us, "Too much honey is not good." Some good things can only be enjoyed in moderation; after that, they cease to be good, or at least, cease to do us good.

No comments:

Post a Comment