Widowed and alone, suffering the grief of losing four of his six children and his wife, the great American mind Thomas Jefferson fell in love with the married and devout catholic Maria Cosway in France. They spent a month together picnicking and traveling the French country side. When she left, Jefferson was devastated. He wrote a dialog attempting to make sense of it.
Madam seated by my fireside solitary and sad, the following dialog took place between my head and my heart.
Head – well friend, you seem to be in a pretty trim
Heart – I am indeed the most wretched of all earthly beings, overwhelmed by grief
Head – This is one of the scrapes for which you are ever leading us, you must learn to look forward before taking a step which may interest our peace
Heart – let the gloomy monk sequestered from the world seek un-social pleasures in the bottom of his cell, had they ever felt the solid pleasure of one generous spasm of the heart, they would exchange for it all the frigid speculations of their lives
Head – do not bite at the bait of pleasure until you know there is no hook beneath it, the art of life is the art of avoiding pain
Heart – leave me to decide when friends are to be contracted, we have no rose without it’s thorn, no pleasure without allyHead - those which depend on ourselves are the only pleasures which a wise man may count on, for nothing is ours which another may deprive us of