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[personal profile] aguu
My World Literature teacher gave me an assignment, which was to write a reaction paper on “Never Give All the Heart.” I asked a friend for some help and he said “Correlate it to 5 Centimeters Per Second [yes, it's an anime.]” So I watched a clip while writing my thoughts down.

I think that this type of reaction is more personal and has a “blogg-y feel”, so I wanted to run it by you guys first.
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Aside from being a book lover, I am an anime fan. 5 Centimeters Per Second was recommended to me when I was looking for answers. See, my homework is supposedly to react about “Never Give All the Heart,” but I wanted to do something different other than just reacting, because I’d just say what everyone else said.




It isn’t so bad, but I don’t want to be like most people. I didn’t enter English Literature just to be like most people. It’s something I love, regardless of rhyme or reason. Books were there when no one else was. Books will always be here, waiting for me to realize another lesson in between the pages.

The feeling I get from reading these pages is akin to my heart being tickled by a feather from a small bird.

Not having much to do, I did as my friend suggested and streamed the movie while writing down my thoughts.

The story opens normally enough. A boy and a girl, Takaki and Akari respectively, they’re childhood friends. Girl exchanges letters with boy when she transfers. Boy is transferring to a far-off place, but they still have the letters. That’s something I miss, in this world of technology and instant-delivery.

In just 30 minutes you can have a pizza, in just 4 seconds you can click “send email” halfway around the world, for free.

5 centimeters per second is how long the cherry blossoms will fall from the tree in the girl’s hometown. Aside from being Japan’s national flower, the cherry blossoms are hard-working flowers…they bloom for a little while, then fall off and die. Rebirth and good fortune.

I wonder, as Yeats wrote the poem about never giving up all of yourself; lest be spurned or rejected, did he write it in a frenzy, with angry pen-strokes? Or did he write it gently, in a bittersweet way, as if he accepted that this was his own truth that needed to be shared with others?

It’s akin to a sort of advice-column of the time. “I loved someone but my love was unrequited, and now everything I ever did for that person just feels like a waste of time.”

“I love someone that doesn’t love me, but since my love is pure, my feelings will reach him someday. Even if for now he treats me coldly and I hate the girl who’s with him, all the time.

“I love…I love…I love. I loved. I will love. I will always love.” Those words are carelessly strewn about. Now I imagine the world is full of crumpled paper balls of ‘I love yous’, as common as stone.

Yeats would have replied, repeatedly. “Never give all the heart. Never give all of yourself. Never. Never.”

The boy and girl in 5 Centimeters per Second have a tight friendship, but circumstances don’t seem to want them to be together. I would call it star-crossed, but I have high hopes for the movie.

“The distance was unbelievably far. The train stopped at different stations for an unbelievably long time.” The boy and the girl made a promise to one another to meet, but the snow and delays in the train’s arrival and departure made it seemingly impossible.

Yeats was turned away, I believe, coldly by the lady he so loved. Writers thrive on misery, and misery creates art, and art will create suffering. But the kind of suffering can be pleasant, if it is used to create more art.

If Yeats was accepted by the woman, would he have created a less beautiful poem? One that would have less impact than the one I’m reading now?

Are we going to let delays and life’s disturbances cripple us, if we truly are people determined to be together, to pick up the crumpled papers of “I love you,” dust them off and wait patiently, slowly for a person who is, undoubtedly trying to meet up with you, as fast as they can?

“Never Give All the Heart.” I agree with Yeats’ poem. It’s important to reserve love for yourself, because you cannot give what you don’t have. But, if I may, I would like to add:

“Never Give All the Heart Without a Reason.” And I don’t mean the reasons of “Because I love her,” “She has a nice smile,” or anything like that.

Maybe I should amend the statement.

“Never Give All the Heart unless they give you all of theirs.” It seems like a safe statement, doesn’t it? The great poets and writers of the world, as much world as I have read at least, seem to convey the message that there is no love without risk. But is the risk worth it, if you choose to love someone who has absolutely no interest? Who will use your affection as an excuse for you to do their laundry, in exchange for some false hope?

Love makes a person blind, deaf, dumb, and mute. That much is true. When you fall in love with someone, everything is different. Everything is new and the world is pregnant with life, with new colours. As time goes on the world begins to look normal, almost too normal. The sense of ‘I must impress you, so you might love me,’ dissipates. And more or less, the love you thought you had can burn bridges, cause melodramatic problems. The entire spectrum of colour is drained and replaced with needles; the world you thought was beautiful suddenly gives birth to problem after problem.

Be it boredom from the relationship, a sense that you are not fulfilled, or even just a simple ‘I don’t love you anymore,’ most love-filled relationships either make it through together, scarred and burnt and their hearts bandaged and full of new love and understanding…or fizzle out and a separation happens, good memories are squashed and bad memories are kept around as reminders of what your love became. Distorted, twisted, ugly.

The same ecstasy love can give can also be poison. That is why, I feel, that if you will give all of your heart, the recipient must do the same.

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