“Life, friends, is boring.” -John Berryman, “Dream Songs 14”
My psychiatrist and I have a “joke” that goes something like this:
I tell her how, for me, our 45-minute sessions fly by. How I relish our conversations, and feel engaged for the first time all week. Then I laugh and tell her not to worry — I get how bored she is. I know she’s just sitting there, forced to listen, probably looking at the clock, thinking, Really? This bullshit again?
My therapist insists my assessment is inaccurate. She loves her work. She finds it deeply rewarding to help patients get to the bottom of things keeping them stuck, no matter how repetitive. …
In Shakespeare’s tragedies, the root of betrayal, dishonesty, conspiracy — what makes these narratives tragic, in other words — is ambition.
In the first scene of King Lear, the elderly, semi-senile king decides it is time to divide his realm up among his three young daughters, declaring that he’ll offer the largest share of land to the daughter who loves him most. Lear’s biggest tragic flaw is his blindness to others’ flaws: it doesn’t occur to him that any of his children might be driven by greed or power — that they might have ambitions of their own. …