Of Love and Compassion

A tribute to Vincent and Catherine's Anniversary
April 12th, 2011



 Scattered thoughts





Vincent and Catherine met, and for them the world was not the same as before. So, what else is new? This is true for anybody who falls in love. But for them there is something more. For them, the "world" that was not same as before, opens up to an unexpected "beyond" -- the world Above for Vincent, the world Below for Catherine, in a literal but also in a symbolical, inspiring meaning. Their love enlarged the boundaries of their souls, and it was a vehicle for a larger, more inclusive love.

When Vincent and Catherine met, that terrible and wondrous night, they were somewhat satisfied individuals, living their lives, not especially happy, not especially sad. Perhaps there was a mute longing, but all in all they had settled for their lives... perhaps unable to imagine different ones.

It is evident for Catherine, as the pilot depicts it clearly - a life of privilege, a restless heart that was not strong enough to renounce it even if it yearned more - and is evident also for Vincent: "I've never regretted what I am... until now". The fandom mythology makes him unhappy, full of doubts and fears, but there is no evidence of it in the episodes. He is a respected and beloved individual in his world, and he was probably counting his blessings because, strange being as he was, he had the possibility to live in such a caring society. Listen how warm, and proud, is his voice when he describes it to Catherine in the Pilot, while the camera pans in his room. Of course he felt alone, but a deep soul like Vincent is naturally prone to sublimation, a noble, powerful way of expressing one's best energy, and I think, all in all, he made the most of his life as he knew it.

Suddenly, everything changed. On that terrible and wondrous night, they met and saw the other side of the world, the side they so much feared, and imagined as horrible. And they found beauty in it.

According to Below's creed, especially according to Father's teachings, the World Above Is Cold And Evil. The warm womb of the world Below needs no "birth" to see the light, in fact it fears it. Vincent is the beautiful secret of the world Below, and he walks the nights of the world Above, unable to see all of it, unable to interact with it but in the limited version of the Helpersí relationships, tamed and sure. The rest is darkness. All of it? No, but it needed an epiphany to became apparent, and unleash the wonderful potential of Vincentís love, restrained by prejudice and diffidence. C: "Youíve seen so much of the violence and hatred of my world; I wanted you to know thereís beauty as well". -- V: "Oh, I know that, ever since the night I found you, Catherine" (Masques).

Catherine just did not imagine that such a different world might exist - not only the tunnel world, but the no-privilege world. Wealth and status can be a thick curtain for heart and even brain. Her restlessness also needed an epiphany, opposite to Vincentís one: through violence and a horrid incident, so distant, so inconceivable in her life, she could be born again, find balance and purpose - and compassion, with time. She started with struggling to be strong. Her plans are evident at the beginning -- join the District Attorney's office, fight the evil ones, take self defense lessons, look for those who slashed her in her spare time. The seed of compassion was there: to grow, it needed love.

Both Vincent and Catherine opened their hearts to the unknown, thanks to that seed of compassion, planted in their hearts that April night. The walls among worlds grew thin, and they could not think any more that "the others", whoever they are, are evil and distant. Itís so easy to do it... itís the technique of the "enemy", of the Us versus Them: we always are in good faith, the others never are. Groups grow stronger when they have some Evil Ones to fight:  we love each other so much, feel so good among us... Itís so easy, and so common: it can be seen everywhere, from wars among nations to wars among B&B groups. Father knows this technique very well, and created a wonderful world based on it. But...

Compassion means "feel together": feel with the others, feel what the others feel. Vincent and Catherine left their safe places to walk empty handed among enemies, and try to feel what such enemies feel, endeavour to understand them, look at things with the only eyes that can see the invisible, the eyes of the heart. They could do this because they started with themselves. Thereís a beautiful scene in the Pilot, that starts with Catherine screaming at seeing both her face and Vincentís face reflected in the same mirror. She reacted with fear and denial, he reacted with shame and retreat... but then, compassion took over, and the true reflection of their souls happened when she pushed away his hood, and they looked into eachotherís eyes. They saw beyond and the walls began to grow thin.

Through their love, they experienced that there is no Above and no Below, no Light and no Darkness, no Beauty and no Beast, but there is a bit of that in everyone and everywhere. Choosing to see the best part of everything is the path they chose to grow, it's the compassionate way of establishing relationships, of "bonding" with the rest of the world. It's difficult, because beauty is often hidden, obscured, slashed. And it needs courage, and it needs care, because it's easy to be hurt. But the fear of being hurt leads to loneliness.




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