“We live in an age where we feel guilt whenever we have to cut someone off but the reality is that some relationships do need to die, some people do need to be unfollowed and defriended. We aren’t meant to be this tethered to the people in our past. The Internet mandates that we don’t burn bridges and keep everyone around like relics but those expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Simply put, we don’t need to know what everyone else is up to. We’re allowed to be choosy about who we surround ourselves with online and in real life, even if it might hurt people’s feelings.”—Thought Catalog (via astrospace)
“How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.”—Isaac Asimov, “Art and Science,” The Roving Mind, 1983 (via itsacrimescene)
“Psychologists have found a strong negative correlation between shame and self-esteem. People who feel ashamed, or who are subjected to shaming experiences, tend to form chronically low opinions of themselves. Those with chronically low self-esteem tend to at- tribute bad outcomes to their own failures. They also tend to focus on negative information that reinforces the idea of their social unacceptability. When researchers exposed people with low self-esteem to words like unwanted, ignored, rejected, disliked, shunned, rebuffed, neglected, excluded, avoided, isolated, condemned, and disapproved, those individuals showed slower response times on a basic thinking task. The lesson echoes Du Bois. If you are constantly told that you are a problem, you eventually feel that you are a problem; and the more you feel like a problem, the more you notice negative feedback. It is harder to concentrate because you are working to manage the psychological effects of feeling ashamed. In this way, social rejection shapes experiences of the self and the world.”—Melissa Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen (via brutereason)
“Imagine you’re at a party. A guy offers you a drink. You say no. He says “Come on, one drink!” You say “no thanks.” Later, he brings you a soda. “I know you said you didn’t want a drink, but I was getting one for myself and you looked thirsty.” For you to refuse at this point makes you the asshole. He’s just being nice, right? Predators use the social contract and our own good hearts and fear of being rude against us. If you drink the drink, you’re teaching him that it just takes a little persistence on his part to overcome your “no.” If you say “Really, I appreciate it, but no thanks” and put the drink down and walk away from it, you’re the one who looks rude in that moment. But the fact is, you didn’t ask for the drink and you don’t want the drink and you don’t have to drink it just to make some guy feel validated.”—The art of “no,” continued: Saying no when you’ve already said yes. (via watevacunt)
“You know that feeling? When you’re just waiting. Waiting to get home, into your room, close the door, fall into bed, and just let everything out that you kept in all day. That feeling of both relief and desperation. Nothing is wrong. But nothing is right either. And you’re tired. Tired of everything, tired of nothing. And you just want someone to be there and tell you it’s okay. But no one’s going to be there. And you know you have to be strong for yourself, because no one can fix you. But you’re tired of waiting. Tired of having to be the one to fix yourself and everyone else. Tired of being strong. And for once, you just want it to be easy. To be simple. To be helped. To be saved. But you know you won’t be. But you’re still hoping. And you’re still wishing. And you’re still staying strong and fighting, with tears in your eyes. You’re fighting.”—(via lesames-perdues)
“Mentally ill people are not the problem. Inaccessible, unaffordable health care is a problem. Stigma is a problem. Lack of treatment is a problem. Lack of understanding is a problem. Lack of compassion is a problem. Not taking people seriously is a problem. Lack of honest conversation and open dialogue is a problem. Using jails as a housing facility for mentally ill persons is a problem. Do you understand me. Mentally ill people are not a problem.”—pale blue dot (via penryns)
“If you say that a woman wearing revealing clothes deserves to be sexually assaulted, you are saying that a woman’s body is inherently deserving of rape. That women are inherently deserving of rape. That women have to make sure their body is hidden in order not to deserve to be raped. That is misogyny in its purest form.”—(via dontwinfriendswithsalad)
“It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult – but you are not ready.”—Helen Mirren In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures (via suhos)
“Realize you can be happy this moment for no reason. Otherwise, you eternally depend on conditions for happiness. Unconscious of this moment, you remain a victim of circumstances.”—Arthur D. Saftlass (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breath in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.”—Unknown (via fuckinq)
Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion.
“When something bothered me, I didn’t talk with anyone about it. I thought it over all by myself, came to a conclusion, and took action alone. Not that I really felt lonely. I thought that’s just the way things are. Human beings, in the final analysis, have to survive on their own.”—Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart (via elegija)
“I design clothes because I don’t want women to look all innocent and naïve… I want women to look stronger… I don’t like women to be taken advantage of… I don’t like men whistling at women in the street. I think they deserve more respect. I like men to keep their distance from women, I like men to be stunned by an entrance. I’ve seen a woman get nearly beaten to death by her husband. I know what misogyny is… I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”—Alexander McQueen (via venchy)
But I guess ultimately what scares me about marriage is where do you find this person? You know a lot of times, most successful relationships, people meet through work, school, mutual friends.
But what’s most interesting to me is when people just meet in life, just randomly.
You know, I have a friend, he got married, I asked him like “Hey, uh, where’d you meet your wife?” He was like “I was leaving Bed, Bath & Beyond. I was looking for my car - I drive a gray Prius. I saw a different gray Prius, I thought it was mine, I walked up to it, I realized I had the wrong car, but I bumped into Carol, we started talking, that was that”. That’s unbelievable.
Think about all the random factors that had to come together to make this one moment possible - this one moment that changed these two people’s entire lives:
First off, this guy has to live in this particular town. Then he has to get a gray Prius. Then he has to need to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond. Then he has to go to that particular Bed, Bath & Beyond. Then there has to be another guy who also lives in town, also drives a gray Prius, also needs to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond, also goes to that particular Bed, Bath & Beyond at around the same time. Then they have to both park somewhat near each other, my friend has to leave before the other guy leaves, see the wrong Prius, think it’s his, walk up to it. Then the woman, Carol, needs to be near the wrong gray Prius for a million other random reasons. They bump into each other, they start talking, their entire lives are changed.
That’s the most amazing and terrifying thing about life.
It is, cause the amazing thing is that at any moment, any one of us can have that moment that totally changes our lives. You could be leaving the show tonight, bump into someone… it could change your life. You don’t know, that could happen.
The terrifying thing is… what if we’re all supposed to be at Bed Bath & Beyond right now?
“A study on masculinity and aggression from the University of South Florida found that innocuous – yet feminine – tasks could produce profound anxiety in men. As part of the study, a group of men were asked to perform a stereotypically feminine act – braiding hair in this case - while a control group braided rope. Following the act, the men were given the option to either solve a puzzle or punch a heavy bag. Not surprisingly, the men who performed the task that threatened their masculinity were far more likely to punch the bag; again, violence serving as a way to reestablish their masculine identity. A follow-up had both groups punch the bag after braiding either hair or rope; the men who braided the hair punched the bag much harder. A third experiment, all the participants braided hair, but were split into two groups: those who got to punch the bag afterwards and those who didn’t. The men who were prevented from punching the bag started to show acute signs of anxiety and distress from not being able to reconfirm their masculinity.”—Doctor Nerdlove, "When Masculinity Fails Men"
“Only be with someone who you think you can learn from. They should be smarter than you in certain ways so that you can continue to grow and be interested. Above all, you should undoubtedly be proud that you are with them.”—(something my 10th grade history teacher told me about how he knew he wanted to marry his wife)
“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you’d follow them straight into hell, just to keep getting your fix.”—Karen Marie Moning (via tywin)
you know how sherlock sometimes shuts down and doesn’t speak for days on end? how he becomes so encased in his own thoughts and deductions that he sits in the same spot for hours and hours. can you imagine while john was living with him? he’d probably tuck him in with a blanket and maybe even feed him if it’d gone on for too long.
now think about the fact that sherlock has gone two years without john, and when he gets back, the two of them don’t even live together anymore.
he probably wakes up from one of his black outs cold and malnourished feeling.
In The Empty Hearse we see Sherlock making amends and providing closure to everyone EXCEPT John. Molly and Mycroft both get to spend quality time with him, providing depth and insight into both their relationships (and he actually treats Molly with respect and like an actual friend, yay!!). Greg and Sherlock share a much needed hug, even Anderson gets something after his two years of agonizing and theorizing.
jokes about his moustache
kicked out of no less than three dining establishments
kidnapped and almost burned to death
no explanation about why Sherlock couldn’t tell him
no satisfactory apology about the pain that he’s endured for the past two years
tricked into believing he’s truly about to be blown to smithereens (along with hundreds of other people)
—and then Sherlock laughs it off as a big joke (presumably because neither of them can be emotionally honest with each other at this point, but still)
AND John laughs along. And everything continues on as normal, because John forgives Sherlock. He’s actually forgiven Sherlock long before he’s forced to admit it in a life-or-death situation.
John never sees how Sherlock cares about him, and he’s totally ignorant of what Sherlock may or may not have endured in the two years that he’s been away. He never even gets to hear that part of the reason Sherlock jumped was to save him. All he knows is that in the two years he’s been mourning and suffering, going to therapy and struggling with healing, Sherlock has been trotting around the globe, having great adventures. When Sherlock comes back, he is, to all appearances, as arrogant and self-assured as ever, ready to brag about his infinite cleverness. Although John is initially angry, he accepts this, and is simply happy in the end. He even goes so far as to say that he feels like his life is back again (“#Sherlocklives means #johnwatsonlives.”)
Throughout their relationship, John seems to have accepted that the majority of affection and sentiment is one-sided, on his part. In The Great Game, he’s shocked to see Sherlock genuinely hurt, for a second, when it seemed like John was Moriarty (and then Sherlock’s terrified when John has a bomb strapped to him). Prior to that, they’d argued because Sherlock was so cold about civilian casualties, and he told John not to make him into a hero. In Hounds, Sherlock tells John that he has no friends (which of course is untrue, and John knows is untrue), and John is rightfully upset. In Reichenbach, their last argument occurs because Sherlock is seemingly emotionless about Mrs. Hudson. “You machine,” John accuses, because after all this time, he really doesn’t have any evidence to the contrary that Sherlock is capable of loving people the way that John loves people. Or even the way that most people love people. And that’s the entirety of their relationship together. In the end, Sherlock commits suicide for reasons unknown to John, and there was nothing he could say or do to stop him. Sherlock “dies” without John ever knowing how he truly felt about anyone, and John still calls him his best friend and pledges his faith in him.
John accepts Sherlock for exactly who he is. He loves Sherlock even when he has drugged him (multiple times); he loves Sherlock even when he is rude and appalling to others (and to John), he loves Sherlock even when he manipulates and deceives him. He loves Sherlock with only bare glimpses of Sherlock feeling any sort of affection towards him. In Many Happy Returns, John watches the video of Sherlock lying to avoid attending his birthday party, and also mentioning how he believes all of John’s friends hate him, and basically being his assholish self. John’s reaction is to miss him even more, to say how funny he was, and how charming. (x) And after all that, when Sherlock is back in John’s life, John accepts him again without ever getting explanation about why Sherlock did it, or why John had to suffer so much and for so long.
John loves Sherlock unconditionally.
The Sign of Three is the first time we see Sherlock really exposing his heart. Sherlock does everything for John for that wedding, planning every last detail - from the seating arrangements to the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, to making sure Mary’s exes are out of the way, to calculating out the exact amount of alcohol they should intake to have the maximum amount of fun on John’s stag night. He declares publicly how much he admires and adores John in his best man speech, and in the end, he pledges himself to him (and Mary, because she’s a part of their lives now, as well as their new family).
It’s like one long, extended apology to John for the last two years. It’s everything John ever needed to hear from Sherlock, including a promise that he will always be there - especially significant since John has felt left alone/left behind and abandoned for the last two years.
Although it seems like Sherlock’s type of love comes in the form of self-sacrifice (just like in Reichenbach); in a telling scene near the beginning, he literally removes himself from the picture. In his speech, he mentions that John is now embarking on an even greater adventure than the ones that they’ve had together. And of course, in the end, he leaves the wedding early.
He’s completely shocked when John calls him his best friend, and John never sees the depth and extent of Sherlock’s feelings for him.
Ultimately, neither of them are aware of just how deeply they love one other.
I’ve always thought of the relationship between Sherlock and John in terms of lightness and weight. See, Sherlock’s light as air, detached from the rest of the world. He’s above it all, above feelings, above everything. He is above relationships, and is therefore lonely and miserable, turning to all manner of unhealthy things to try to cope. John, on the other hand, is pure weight. The limp in his leg is evidence of the heaviness of the war, of his struggle, his adrenaline withdrawal. He carries with him a heavy heart. He is chained to the ground with the weight of himself.
Sherlock takes some of the weight off of John, shows him how to laugh again, how to walk without a cane. John grounds Sherlock. In this way, they have a perfect symbiotic relationship, be it platonic or romantic.
The idea of Sherlock and John representing lightness and weight respectively offers us a lens through which we can more clearly understand our more emotional Sherlock in The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three as well as our more detached Sherlock in His Last Vow. See, Sherlock has distanced himself from emotional attachments since he was young - “caring is not an advantage” - but we see in The Reichenbach Fall that he cares about other people. He has three friends, three more than he did at the start of our journey with him.
The fall was metaphorical as well as literal, not just in terms of Sherlock’s reputation but also in terms of this lightness/weight duality. Sherlock has taken on so much weight in the form of friendships that he falls to the ground, joining the world of the goldfish, as Mycroft might put it. This fall is pretty much irreversible, because in order to get back above everything Sherlock would have to let go of those relationships. That weight causes our more emotional Sherlock.
At the end of The Sign of Three, though, John betrays Sherlock in a way. Sherlock makes a joke (“you won’t need me around now that you’ve got a real baby”), expecting John to say something along the lines of “you’re always welcome in my life, Sherlock,” but instead John just offers him a sad smile. Sherlock walks out of the wedding early, clearly upset. He lets go of some of his attachment to John as a result of this betrayal and once again becomes light enough to be above it all once again.
I don’t know if the writers ever intended to have this underlying theme in the show, but there are certainly lots of great symbols. For example, in His Last Vow, instead of getting into the helicopter, Sherlock stays on the ground in order to help John and Mary by killing Magnussen. As well, at the end of His Last Vow, Sherlock is about to get on an airplane, up into the clouds, light as a feather. This signifies his detachment, however painful that might be, from John (and also explains the awkwardly unemotional handshake - Sherlock cannot bring himself to hug a man from whom he knows he must completely and utterly detach himself).
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that in many ways, at the start of their story, Sherlock and John are polar opposites. They save each other, though Sherlock needs far more saving, since Sherlock needs just enough weight that he stands with two feet on the ground, but not so much that he falls, whereas John just needs Sherlock around, but yes, they save each other, and in doing so they become more similar and more relatable to each other.
I just thought this might add to your discussion of Watsons and how they relate to their Holmeses. As more of a Sherlock-type figure, I thought I’d add a bit of my perspective. I’m no blogger, so I’m not exactly a great writer. Sorry for any grammar mistakes and general awkward wording, etc. Sorry that this is so long.
This was really interesting! I’d never thought of them in quite that way before! Thank you!
I confess I didn’t find Sherlock terribly detached in HLV. I did, however, find John to be weirdly detached. Or something. Unemotional? Nonreactive? Whatever it it about John that’s off, I spent all day working through it…
the way mrs hudson brings sherlock tea even though he doesn’t acknowledge it
the way mary urges john to take sherlock on a case to remind him it’s not all ending with the wedding
the way lestrade fucking drops everything he’s been working for for months and rushes over to 221b and calls in backup because sherlock texts him ‘help’ and ‘please’
the way molly looks at sherlock during the whole reception and just knows how this is breaking his heart
this episode was a love letter to john and john and sherlock’s relationship is certainly at the heart of it all, but it was also an episode full of the many ways the people in sherlock’s life love him too, if only he could really see it. and that was so painfully important, because despite it all sherlock sees nothing left for him but to slip out unnoticed and alone
that’s what we learn in this episode about sherlock holmes — how the way he treats others is a reflection of the way he feels about himself
when i was little i actually questioned why girls were supposed to cross their legs and when i was told “because boys will look up your skirt” i said “then tell boys not to look up our skirts” and my grandma got really angry with me but my uncle thought i was great and gave me a high five