No…not that kind of Gothic pine…that’s my Xmas tree! The Gothic pine I’m referring to is a deep and sorrowful longing or yearning for the love of someone in particular or for love in general, intertwined with the feelings and rituals of mourning. Did that make any sense? No…probably not. Let’s delve deeper, shall we?
Back in Ye’ Olden Times when marriages were arranged, hidden affairs were abundant, sexuality was repressed, and romance was ritualistic, existed the act of pining. It transcended mere love…it was deeper, and even more emotionally painful than love. Pining for a loved one was often attributed to factors such as great physical distances – a husband off to war or a fiancée in another land; forbidden love – a married lover, someone of lesser social status, or a family member (they were plenty scandalous back then!); unrequited love – whether knowingly or not, meaning that that the one who pines for the other’s love has made his/her intentions known or it is kept secret; and finally, the pining of lost loved one separated by death. No matter what the circumstance may be, it is that last element that central to pure Gothic pining: death.
To properly Goth pine one must be in a sort of state of mourning for the loss of the particular love inertest, as if, indeed, that person has passed away and will never return. It is gut-wrenching and emotionally taxing, but if done right and executed properly eventually the payoff is of great reward…or you’ll just end up a mopey mess…either was you get to dress in black! With that said, Gothic pining is not just a feeling of despair, there are rituals involved to help you express your long drawn out passion for someone…it’s what makes it interesting!
Again, you must harken back to Ye Olden Days of yore for your (*giggle* yore/your) inspiration for pining rituals…way back before the ease of mass communication on a global scale; back when people took the time and effort to cherish a loved; back when one poured out his or her feelings without being accused of being an obsessed stalker; and back when a love letter consisted more than: “ :) <3 XOXOXO!!!”
Yes, those days really did exist, trust me!
Some of these arcane yet lovely rituals were/are:
• Keeping a picture of your loved one in a locket and always carrying it around with you so that when the occasion arises you can look at their picture and enjoy a heavy sigh of what could be.
• On the same level is keeping a framed picture of your “pinee” on your desk or shelf so that they seem somewhat ever present – *Note: a 5 ft x 3 ft oil painting portrait hanging over your bed might be a bit much!
• Something that might seem a tad on the creepy side today but was quite commonplace in the past few hundred years ago was to keep a lock (not the clickity-clack kind) of your lover’s hair. I actually find this ritual quite endearing and I wish it would make a comeback. “Excuse me, but may I have a lock of your cyber-dreads?” (LOL!!!)
• Another ritual that might is to spray a bit of your lover’s habitual perfume or cologne on a handkerchief (or pillow) and having it handy to take a reminiscent sniff once in a while. Did you know that the brain triggers more memories due to olfactory (sense of smell) stimuli than any other senses? ‘Tis true! Again, while this might seem a bit creepy by today’s standards, it’s a light year away in creepiness from sniffing your lover’s used underwear (I’m looking at you, weird Japanese men with your vending machines)!!!
• Love-letter writing (see tip #7). Don’t just write something simple and stupid. Be fanciful. Even if you’re going to see your girlfriend at this weekend’s Goth party, write to her as if she’s not only thousands of miles away, but also in another time…as if she was off on some sort of wondrous adventure and you are left behind with only thoughts and memories of her running endlessly though your mind! Be sure to mail it by snail-mail!!! Everyone likes receiving physical letters via the mail…sadly, in this day in age, it’s a lost art.
• As far as poetry goes, if you are not quite secure in your rhyming abilities (for help see: www.rhymezone.com) as compared to most others, simply search for “Love Poems” on Google and borrow from the masters…just be sure to credit them with their name at the bottom. No one likes a plagiarist. But don’t just write (or copy) poetry…present it! Recently, I sent a poem to a certain someone for a birthday occasion that took me about a month to perfect…but I just didn’t write it out on a piece of college-ruled paper, stuff it in an envelope, pop a stamp on it, and shipped it off…no,no,no. I actually had the poem printed out in fancy Edwardian font onto two pieces of card stock paper, and glued it on the inside of a beautifully crafted Japanese greeting card. It’s those details that really go the extra mile!
• The shrine. This one actually sounds more over-the-top than what it really is. A shrine is by definition is (according to the internet): a place regarded as holy because of its association with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building or other construction. Sure that sounds big and impressive. But for the sake of Gothic pining and romance, the shrine in this case is a small space on a shelf or, on an end table, on which you place little gifts, trinkets, and mementos that were given to you by object of desire. It doesn’t have to be a sacred monument to which you bow religiously before every night at the stroke of midnight…just a place, spot, or area that is devoted lovingly to them…Isn’t that sweet?
• Suicide. Ok…this one is a bit heavy (*Note: I AM NOT CONDONING SUICIDE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!!!)…but back where I come from (France), for the extreme lovelorn, this was (and sometime still is) a viable and last-ditch option. The pain of lost, unrequited, or unattainable true love is so great that pining would become unbearable to the point of taking one’s own life to ease the suffering. I do not recommending this course of action for anyone who finds themselves in this situation…but when it comes to true Gothic pining you must at least, on some small level, understand and empathize with the notion.
There are a ton of other rituals and tidbits to add to this, but, as a whole, this is what this entire blog is about! The general rule of thumb here is to create and hold sacred small iconic elements that help you remember and keep close to your heart that special someone for whom your heart persistently aches for…especially if that someone is miles away, taken, or has passed away. And always remember the all too true adage: “Absence makes the heart grows fonder.”