31shortyones25) bitter/sweet lying between lovers ― Sayaka grows less averse to betrayals






★bitter/sweet lying between lovers ― Sayaka grows less averse to betrayals★

Jaugo: Well, this is it: we’ve come to the end of our series of “love” songs. As you can see, Sayaka-san, this poet is solely lamenting over his lost love “on the other side”, only in a quite witty manner. Can you make out what he is saying?

Sayaka: Not quite, but we could work it out together, I believe.

Jaugo: That’s the spirit. Now, where shall we start?

Sayaka: Can I be honest?

Jaugo: Of course, go ahead.

Sayaka: You said “as you can see, this poet is lamenting over his lost love”… in fact, I can’t see why he is lost in love. How can you decide he is already “on the other side”?

Jaugo: Oh, I’m sorry, it seems I jumped the gun. Where shall we restart? What’s the phrase that doesn’t sit well with you?

Sayaka: “我さへ心二つありけり(ware sae kokoro futatsu arikeri)”: what does he mean by that?

Jaugo: To the extent that he says “我さへ(ware sae = even myself)”, his sweetheart ― or ex-sweetheart ― must have had “心二つありけり(kokoro futatsu arikeri = a treacherous heart)”.

Sayaka: You mean, the woman that the poet was going steady with betrayed him?

Jaugo: That’s what he says.

Sayaka: And he still feels “恋しき(koishiki = in love with her)” after she betrayed him?

Jaugo: That’s what he says.

Sayaka: Then, why does he say “斯くばかり憂しと思ふ(kaku bakari ushi to omou = I feel so blue)”?

Jaugo: Because she betrayed him.

Sayaka: She betrayed him, made him blue, and he is still in love with her?

Jaugo: So the story goes.

Sayaka: Impossible! Betrayal is the worst thing you could ever do to others ― and that to your sweetheart! Doesn’t it mean she had a stealthy love affair with another man while he thought he was her only one?

Jaugo: Possibly.

Sayaka: Could you stand having your sweetheart betray you like that? Could you still love her after you became aware of her treachery, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: Mm… that’s a point to consider.

Sayaka: There’s no room to consider, or reconsider ― the moment I become aware of your treachery, our relationship is over then and there.

Jaugo: I’ll keep that in mind, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: Tell me, Jaugo-san, does this poet really mean what he says? Or is he just pretending that he doesn’t mind her treachery?

Jaugo: Why does he have to pretend?

Sayaka: Maybe because he tries to act magnificent, morally beyond that treacherous woman.

Jaugo: What kind of a dandy would ever do that? He would be making a fool of himself making such an affected speech before others ― no one would take him for his word.

Sayaka: Then, does he by any chance want to get back together with that treacherous woman? Is he saying “I’ll forgive you your sin, come back to me”?

Jaugo: Do you think it likely?

Sayaka: You know my answer already: I’m asking you ― is such a thing possible with you, or with men in general?

Jaugo: I’d say, quite unlikely.

Sayaka: Then, that’s the end of the road ― this TANKA doesn’t make any sense to me!

Jaugo: It’s not like you to give up so easily, Sayaka-san. You said, “We could work it out together, I believe”, didn’t you?

Sayaka: Oh… I’m sorry. I was being too emotional. Will you forgive me and work it out together?

Jaugo: If you trust me.

Sayaka: I trust you: you always help me out in the end, Jaugo-san. I’m really sorry I fumed and fretted, I was just…

Jaugo: Never mind. I’m rather glad to find you so pure and faithful; you could never do anything faithless to the one you love ― that’s a nice thing to know, not bad at all.

Sayaka: Thank you, Jaugo-san, you are so kind and so generous with my shortcomings, but I… I just can’t stand someone who betrays… others. I know I’m getting too personal and kind of embarrassing you, I’m awful sorry…

Jaugo: No need to be sorry, no need to explain why ― you just need to be honest, be yourself before me… now, shall we restart working out this intangible TANKA together?

Sayaka: Yes.

Jaugo: You said you just can’t stand betrayal from your lover?

Sayaka: Yes.

Jaugo: And you asked me if I could stand being betrayed by my love?

Sayaka: I did.

Jaugo: Do you believe there’s anyone who could stand being double-crossed?

Sayaka: No.

Jaugo: I’m with you there. But let us think a little more about “betrayal”. Do you know the saying “One man’s gospel is another man’s lie”, can you imagine any situation suitable for that saying?

Sayaka: (…)

Jaugo: OK, then, let me give you a hint ― a doctor’s lie ― ring a bell?

Sayaka: A doctor who doesn’t let the patient know that he is having a cancer?

Jaugo: A good example, although the worst case scenario. Well, I personally definitely prefer to know the truth, but the people around me might choose to keep my actual condition a secret from me. In that case, I would certainly feel it a “betrayal” that the doctor, along with people around me, should try to hide the truth away from me. On the other hand, if some nurse in the hospital, perhaps under the pressure from Jaugo-san’s urgent and eloquent request for the truth, told me that I’m having a stomach cancer, not a stomach ulcer, then, the doctor and my folks would say “the nurse BETRAYED the secret to Jaugo-san”… Don’t you think it strange? The doctor and my folks can BETRAY me by keeping my cancer a secret from me, and the nurse can also BETRAY the secret to me and BETRAY the doctor and my folks.

Sayaka: Are you saying there can be many forms of “betrayal”? One man’s “betrayal” may be another man’s “kindness”?

Jaugo: Exactly. And such “gospel or lie” scenarios are more often seen in bed, not in a hospital but where men and women have carnal knowledge of each other… excuse me for being so indecently direct, but a woman often tries to please a man who tries desperately to please her by pretending to be pleased more than she actually feels: such pretense can be a most blissful “gospel” for the man, but when the truth was revealed, just imagine how he would feel…

Sayaka: The worst lie… a betrayal from her.

Jaugo: And that one of the worst kind of betrayal from a woman ― he feels he has been “manipulated” by her: that really hurts the pride of the man. To take a less sexual example, a man may try to please his woman by pretending to be very glad when she cooks for him, when in fact he feels she’s the worst cook he ever knew! Just imagine how he would feel if she continued to try to please him by her “miracle cooking”? How would she feel if he became less and less glad at her cooking?

Sayaka: She would feel that he doesn’t love her as much as he used to.

Jaugo: She sure would. A sweet gospel turning into a bitter lie… a man and a woman, the more deep in love they are, will be trapped into this bitter-sweet “betrayal” spiral. They try to be as sweet as possible to their darlings, only to end up as the bitterest betrayers… love “on the other side” is full of such “sweet betrayals”.

Sayaka: “心二つ(kokoro futatsu = a treacherous heart)” in this TANKA refers to such sad misunderstandings… that’s why he is still “恋し”(in love with her).

Jaugo: You’d better think so, if you would like this poem to sound as sad and true as it can be… it sounds true to me, for I’m not ignorant or innocent of such betrayals myself.

Sayaka: (…) I’m afraid I was too shallow; I was totally ignorant of the duality of “betrayal”. I tremble to think if I remained ignorant, I would just… thank you, thank you ever so much, Jaugo-san, for this life-saving enlightenment.

Jaugo: I’m glad to see you become the brighter for our conversation again… if you desire, I’ll have another tip for you ― would you care to hear?

Sayaka: Please give it to me.

Jaugo: Now, you know how deceptive “betrayals” can be, but in spite of your knowledge, or “enlightenment” as you call it, you can never bring yourself into “loving” betrayals, can you?

Sayaka: I don’t think so.

Jaugo: But “loving” your partner who tries to “please” you by “betraying” you is quite possible, don’t you think?

Sayaka: Yes, I think so.

Jaugo: Then, why don’t you enjoy “being betrayed” by your partner? You’d gain nothing from revealing his “lies”, while you’d lose nothing and gain everything from being pleased by those “lies”.

Sayaka: Oh… yes, you’re quite right!

Jaugo: And when you enjoy “being betrayed” by looking so happy in his eyes, you never fail to please your “dearest betrayer”, don’t you think?

Sayaka: Of course!

Jaugo: And when you please your partner by being “sweetly betrayed”, you yourself are “sweetly betraying” him ― he just feels he is “sweetly betraying you”, when in fact he is being “sweetly betrayed by you” ― both are betraying and being betrayed, without holding a grudge against each other ― is there any other comedy as funny and happy as that?

Sayaka: No, it’s the funniest and happiest love comedy!

Jaugo: But the happiest comedy will turn into the bitterest tragedy, as soon as you fall out of love with him ― not because you and he have both kept betraying each other, but simply because you have ceased to trust each other ― while there’s mutual trust, a lie can be a gospel; when the trust rusts, you start cursing each other, saying “You betrayed me when you did this, when you lied like that…”

Sayaka: (…)

Jaugo: “Betrayal” never exists between lovers; it only starts to exist in the hearts of ex-lovers.

Sayaka: I’ll keep it in my mind and never forget: so long as there’s trust, there’s no betrayal.

Jaugo: Just between you and your true love; not just anybody in the world.

Sayaka: I understand.

Jaugo: So, the synopsis of this TANKA is: I feel hurt by thinking how much I have been betrayed by her, but I still hold her so dear in my heart, which means my heart, just as my ex-sweetheart, is betraying me… tell me, my heart, do you really hate her, or actually miss her?… What do you say, Sayaka-san?

Sayaka: I think both… strangely.

Jaugo: Perhaps. And when you can feel so, the love “on the other side” will secure its place in your heart, fondly, as a bitter-sweet memory of mutual betrayal.

Sayaka: Love is made up of many such sweet mutual betrayals… is it?

Jaugo: It’s not for me to say here and now ― ask yourself when you find yourself actually in love.

Sayaka: Yes, I will.

Jaugo: You are a very honest woman, Sayaka-san, you will be quite truthful and never can be faithless to your lover, that’s a great asset to you and to your lover. But truth and faith are not the sole component of a true love. You should always be FAITHFUL to your love, but never be too TRUTHFUL or never expect him to be perfectly truthful to you: there are some things he hides from you because he loves you. Remember ― when you find yourself trying to find his untruthfulness, it may be time to say good-bye to your love… Well, I think I’ve spoken too much for a single piece of TANKA: please forgive me for being so wordy, since this is the end of our “love” series of conversation.

Sayaka: I wish I could hear you say more and more… is this really the end of “love” talk between us?

Jaugo: As a theme of poetry, yes. As a casual topic of conversation, there may be some other occasion.

Sayaka: I hope so.

Jaugo: So, this is the happy end of our “love” poem conversation. Until next time, so long, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: My deepest thanks to you, Jaugo-san. See you.







At once so painfully pensive and still so deep in love

With such a faithless one once kind but now so cold…

You too betray me again… my heart that’s broken in two?!

かく【斯く】〔副〕<ADVERB:thus, like this>

ばかり【ばかり】〔副助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(DEGREE):to that extent, so much>

うし【憂し】〔形ク〕(うし=終止形)<ADJECTIVE:painful, pensive>


おもふ【思ふ】〔他ハ四〕(おもふ=終止形)<VERB:think, feel>

…I feel sad, so painfully sad like this

に【に】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(CONCESSION):in spite of, despite being, all the same>

こひし【恋し】〔形シク〕(こひしき=連体形)<VERB:feel attracted to, be fond of, crave after>

…and yet, I find myself still attracted [to the one that betrayed me]

は【は】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(REASON):due to, all because>

われ【我】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:I, myself>

さへ【さへ】〔副助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(ADDITION):even, not only A but also B>

こころ【心】〔名〕<NOUN:the heart, mind, mentality>

ふたつ【二つ】〔名〕<ADJECTIVE:two, different>

あり【有り】〔自ラ変〕(あり=連用形)<VERB:be, exist>

けり【けり】〔助動ラ変型〕過去(けり=終止形)<AUXILIARY VERB(DISCOVERY):I found out>

…it only goes to show that I, too [just like the one who betrayed me] have two faces [one hating, the other still loving that one even now]

《kaku bakari ushi to omou ni koishiki wa ware sae kokoro futatsu ari keri》

■love ― a common illusion based on mutual betrayal ― lucky are those who get simultaneously disillusioned in the end; miraculously luckier are those who keep dreaming until the end of time■

 Since my conversation with Sayaka-san has said it all (more or less), I will just add one more comment and one more TANKA to conclude this essay on the happiest mutual betrayal between a man and a woman ― it’s best to keep on betraying each other in this common happy illusion, but since that’s too unrealistic a dream to hope for, it would be better to wake up from this dream earlier and come out as “the betrayer” than be left behind in the nightmare as “the betrayed”, doomed forever to lament over his/her untruthfulness.

《ちぎりしももろともにこそちぎりしか わすればわれもわすれましかば:chigirishi mo morotomo ni koso chigirishika wasure ba ware mo wasure mashikaba》『千載集(Senzai-shuu)』恋(Love) No.864 by 藤原為通(Fujiwara-no-Tamemichi)契りしも諸共にこそ契りしか(it was at the same time that we made our vow to love and please each other)忘れば我も忘れましかば(it should also be at the same time that we should cease to love and forget each other ― it’s unfair, why should I be still bound by the vow alone?)

Having an English-speaking self within you is just like having a conversation partner like Sayaka-san/Jaugo-san beside you.
We provide you not with actual conversation partners, but we enable you to engage in intellectually enticing conversation with Sayaka-san/Jaugo-san(…no mean feat, isn’t it?)
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