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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

An Age-old Question

Certain things are happening in my life at the moment, and it prompted me to not only look at the way my life is and has been, but also at the kind of person that I am. Now, I can't call this an entirely new experience, because I spend a lot of time on this on an almost daily basis, but that sort of thinking is mostly of a wandering nature.

Well, the age-old question is that of love. What is love? And I hope none of you guys are going to respond with a "baby don't hurt me" line like the song. Who was that song by, anyway? It's like this, and I guess there are people out there who're going to read this and say, "What an idiot" or "Same old story", but I'd still like to try and get some perspective on this. No story here, just a fair deal of musing I'm afraid. But what is this thing that we call love? Is it an emotion? Is it a combination of hormones that causes us to behave differently in thep resence of appropriate triggers? Is it a social institution that celebrates love on the 14th of February every year? Or is it something that greeting card manufacturers dreamed up?

One aspect of love is intimacy. Now, there are several levels of intimacy. On the one hand, and quite obviously, is physical intimacy. This serves a certain purpose I guess, I mean, it's not like have fancy feathers or resplendent plummage to strut our stuff and attract a potential mate. Hell no. We throw on our finest apparel, silk shirts and check-out-my-ass pants, douse ourselves with scents and odors that are not naturally developed by our bodies (although the ancient Greeks used to collect the sweat of sportsmen/jocks as it was an aphrodisiac for women...or something like that) and then we head to places where the music is blaring, the lights are dimmed, and we begin the deadly game of "Who's (going to) be your daddy". Physical intimacy, or attraction is something that is definitely a way of life for many people. But what about 'lastability'? Unfortunately, physical appearance is one of those things tied to a natural process commonly known as 'ageing', and therefore, unless people start loving the gradual process of when a body "let's itself go" it's a sad way to begin....or so I feel.

Another kind of intimacy, and possibly my favorite, is that of the mind. I don't know, and maybe it's just me and the way I am, but I can't help but be attracted to people who show that they're open to new ideas and just generally seem to have most of their shit figured out. I guess it's because the first point allows me to wander mentally with this person, and the second point is because if I keep wandering I know that my partner firmly has her feet on the ground. But I always look to learn things from my partner too. I know that I take eons to figure things out for myself, and during that time I would have inadvertently come upon a life-changing revelation or something, but the person I wish to share in this kind of intimacy is someone who shows enough similarity but has enough depth of character and conviction to hold on to their own beliefs and ideas, and be able to support them logically. In fact, if they could go ahead and be open to defending their ideas logically in some kind of 'Jax court martial' I would give everything to be with this person. Wow! Sick twisted bastard that I am eh?

And so, how does all this come up? Well, call it a life-changing event, call it something of a 'blast from the past', or any other name that you wish to give it. It's one of those things that life throws at you when you think that you've got all your shit figured out...you know, when you think that your life is beginning to make sense all of a sudden? It's the fastball that you never saw coming, or the bouncer that you didn't manage to duck under quickly enough. It hits you in the head. And in the moments that immediately follow, as you lay on the ground dazed and confused, probably seeing double, things begin to make sense to you. It's wierd because you're laying there motionless and people around you are trying to help you up and ask you all sorts of things to make sure that you're ok, such as "Don't worry about it, you'll get through it" or "Don't be an idiot about it and just get on with your life. But in spite of these words of advice (more vice than anything else), the clarity that a crack to the skull can bring is blinding. So, you lay there and you're wondering about how none of this ever came to you before. And what do you do about it? Sometimes we jump back up, get on our feet and pick up where we left off with this new perspective. Other times, we lay down and feel ourselves being transferred to a stretcher and in need of medical attention...this is where external inputs will probably cause us to forget this brilliant insight. Or we just come out of intensive care and carry on life with a hodge podge plan, in a don't-know-where-I'm-going kind of way.

And so, back to the age-old question. What is love? Why does it exist? And is it a natural tendency, or a man-made institution with rules of conduct? Is it overrated? The questions...they never cease. Here's to love, for as the saying goes, "All's fair in Love and War."
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