The G Tales: Episode 2 - Three: Or, Why Is Mono Poly Too? (Part 2 of 2)

Serena Anderlini's picture

(Sculpture by Regina Reinhardt)

“Sounds like poly to me,” I confirm.

“Well, Dante knew about it back in the fourteenth century.”

“Oh,” I wonder, “what evidence do you have?”

“This sentence, ‘love, that releases no beloved from loving,’ nobody knows what he intended because it really means both.”

“What do you mean both?”

“It’s ambivalent, it means both the reciprocity of love, as in A loves B and viceversa, and the circulatory nature of erotic energies, as in A loves B loves C loves D loves E and so on. And all translators, readers, critics, theorists, have been baffled by it for centuries. Yet they all refer to it.”

“Oh, I get it, a literary trope.”

“You may say that. It’s more that the number three was in Dante’s mind, I think. He knew that perfect reciprocity is virtually impossible, that there is always some triangulation, even in the most perfect, most reciprocated type of love.”

“But then, that means that one cannot be really mono, because there is really no system of love that includes solely and exclusively two persons.”

“You’re beginning to get it. From one triangulation, to the next, to the next, to the next, all adjacent to one another, as in an Aids quilt one might say.”

“Then mono is poly. Granted, to some extent. But why is poly mono?” I ask her.

“That’s a little more complicated,” G replies. “Suppose you manage to be as mono as possible, to really focus on one person until s/he feels so loved that life comes to a standstill, that there is really nothing to desire any more.”

“Suppose . . . then what?”

“Then, from that experience, from having been present to that celestial, hyper-Uranian type of love, you can generate infinite compersion that allows you to love everyone like you’ve loved that person.”

“Ah, but . . . errrrr . . . wait a minute, I’m a bit confused. Sounds so philosophical, G, can you explain for us common mortals, my love?”

“Well, you know compersion. Compersion, that feeling that replaces jealousy, supposedly, in poly language? Well, it’s nothing really but a sublimation of desire into eros, a way to process the greed, the want for sex, for attention, into an ethereal energy that traverses time and space and expands that mono, that one-to-one reciprocity, to every person.”

“That sounds to me like creative energy. Art, creative expression, in all its forms, has some of that, no?”

“Yes,” G admits, “that’s the point. Especially art that’s part of a healing process, art that generates community, peace, joy. In fact, on might even say that all such art is a form of the arts of loving.”

“Handsome, G, thanks.”

“You’re welcome. What are you thinking?”

“Oh, well . . . it’s so extreme, so exaggerated. I’m not sure. Sounds like that story about demanding to test anonymously or not at all.”

“Oh, that’s right. You’ve not forgotten, uh?”

“No. Is this the lesson for the day? I’ll mull it over. Thanks for sharing. Now let’s get back to work. Keep me posted on developments. And when you test again, be a good patient, ok?”

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