I’ve heard contention whether envy or jealousy is ‘le mot juste’ and while I’m interested in the semantics, in this particular case, for the moment, I’m more interested in the feelings.
Let’s just say, for the sake of this post and the wisdom I’m trying to impart within it, that envy, like its roots, denote from ‘envie’, or, ‘to desire’. That is, within this particular context, to desire something for its own sake, not to receive pleasure by withholding from another.
To desire something at the expense of another is a feeling I’ve not yet known, though I’m assured constantly it’s a quite universal feeling. Not that I’m saying at any level that I’d wish to share my spouse, as one example, with another for the sole sake that such an individual would benefit, at the level that I theoretically might, according to such anecdotes, from the accolades or astral benefits of sharing my spouse. Now that I’ve only managed to combombulat the issue, let me state it unequivocally: Desire is love without the commitment.
To say “J’ai envie de toi.” is a far more sexually explicit thing to say in French than to say “Je t’aime.” Yet both are translated often as “I love you.” In Spanish the two expressions prove even more nebulous.
Until this particular feeling enlightens my consciousness I can only say what I’ve experienced personally in that relative ballpark. I have “envied” only one person in my entire life—in this particular sense of I WANT what you’ve GOT—and it was not for her beau, or her looks, or her wealth—though that is not to say that any of those were not enviable. In fact, as enviable as any of these things might be, this young woman would have no idea whatsoever I ever ‘envied’ her at all. It was like 20 years ago, or so.
And yet, when I think of her, my heart is stroked. I get a knee-jerk reaction of nostalgia mixed with mystery that evokes in turn a tear-jerk reaction that is completely unique to this particular individual.
I don’t even remember her name. In fact, in the most attracting moments I ironically also found her a bit irritating—as odd as that sounds—too lively, too happy, too in love, or something.
She was blonde and bubbly and sleeping with the boss, so I really don’t knock my irritation too much. But, she had something else. It’s so extraordinarily rare anyone has anything I want, but she had it. To me, in a way I didn’t understand at all at the time, she had the ring of power.
And She had it so fucking good it burned. It burned me! My desire for what she had burned me, so hard, that over 20 years later, my biggest triumph in life is, #metoo. But not for her man, her plan, or her choices!
No, not that #metoo nonsense!
She knew the plants.
We walked through Prince William Sound Alaska, and the flora and fauna were like relatives to her. She knew her TERRITORY! Never, not ever before or since, have I felt that kind of envie.
And now I know, if she were to meet me again now, she’d say the very same thing about me.
She’d see in me what I saw in her: Pride in my territory.
And so, this strange young woman I knew for only a few months, in changing the course of my mind, changed the course of my life, for the better, forever.
And she has no clue about it, at all, and most likely never will.