Atmospheric Disturbances

Along the westerlies
on that jet you see
you came to me
I stumbled topside-down
moving north and south
the words out of your mouth
and gathered the clouds

feet were cold
to your hot
we met at the boundary

you go low
I go high
and we’ll swirl around the sky
rain rolls in
rain rolls past
bad weather never lasts

we’ll rain down
to the ground
Find some dew
together
me and you

we are the lifeblood
of Earth

Lost in Thought

I thought of you and it was like a day dream,
One that you choose to get lost in,
There you were in the distance,
It’s a long bench,
But I can tell you’re getting closer,
There are sparks, oh yes,
But they’re far away,
So they don’t look like individual sparks,
Kind of a blur,
But it’s nice because there’s still a light,
Just about to burst into bright,
I’ll be honest, I can’t tell, it’s far away,
And just like that I pop out into the street,
Just another person out walking,
Ambling over to my favorite coffee shop
Tapping my fingers to an unknown tune,
And sometimes you’d appear,
In a glance, out of the corner of my eye.
Like a memory in a different lifetime.

Love and the Future

Lately and perhaps not surprisingly with a newborn in my arms I have been pondering love again.  This, in addition with a psychology class I sat in on last semester about the subject, and some other articles I read recently, has led me to feel like exploring my thoughts a little.  Not too long ago I was conversing with a fellow blogger who posted some writings from a Buddhist about love that said something to the order of “true love can only exist in the present”.  As I paused for thought, I appreciated the truth of those words in an ideal sense, but it struck me as not how love seems to

From www.mindbodygreen.com
From http://www.mindbodygreen.com

work.

When I’ve fallen in love before, and others that I’ve talked to share similar experiences, thoughts of the future seem to go with it.  I often described it as painting pictures in your mind.  You fall in love, you start to see happy times, future celebrations, children, growing old together.  These pictures seem extremely vivid.  Like memories you’ve built on events yet to happen.  From a biological sense this seems to make sense because that is how love should work.  Love builds attachments, and attachments in this world give you strength.  If love did not make us feel this way it seems like we would lose an important part of what love is really for; to give us companionship and togetherness, and increase our chances of survival in a world filled with uncertainty.  Feelings of security and visions of the future seem so tangible to me, I wonder if it is true to others who have been in love.  Nevertheless, if you could truly stay focused on the present, maybe this could take away much of the pain when a relationship ends.  And I think sometimes this is why a relationship ends.  You focus on the future that you take the other for granted in the present.   And the loss of a relationship leaves you with vivid visions of events that will now no longer take place.  Those events are in your memory and I’ve always felt that recovery from a relationship literally requires erasing those memories.

As I look at my son in my arms, I am filled up with love.  Of course this also makes sense from a biological standpoint.  I think the love of a parent in animals is somewhat proportional to how helpless they are when they are born.  Human children are completely helpless such that any indifference on our part would lead to less care and more infant mortality.  Some creatures have the ability to “hit the ground running” parents are protective to a certain degree, but especially if you are born prey, the kid has to kind of take care of himself a bit too and learn to run as fast as possible.  Love comes in many forms and certainly the love for one’s child is different than romantic love, but  I started to ask myself, what is that I love about my son?  If asked the same question about my wife I could point to a large list of qualities in her, I could recount numerous wonderful memories and happy moments. There are of course physical attributes too as a basis for attraction. The love has a clear basis.  No quality is perhaps unique in her, but all together she certainly is unique.  The fact that I love her is not surprising, and the fact that there aren’t others out there who I might love or have loved her is not surprising either.  But as I look at my son I wonder what is it based on other than a biological drive to love my child.  I find him beautiful of course.  Every parent finds their child beautiful.  Once again if we didn’t, we might be less likely to want to take care of them.  But he has no personality to speak of.  He hasn’t been alive more than a month yet and we have few memories together at all.  We have nothing in common except some DNA.  We can’t really do a whole lot together.  It is a purely one sided relationship.  We give and he takes.  If this were anybody else, friends would say,” you need to get out of that relationship.” Lol

I then read a story about someone having twins prematurely and losing one of them and of course I naturally thought about how I would feel if

My wife and our son
My wife and our son

my son were to die.  Of course it would be grievously painful, but I thought to myself what would I be grieving about?  If I lost my wife, the pain of numerous past memories and a deep sense of loss over qualities she possessed that I would no longer be privilege to would flood my mind for many years to come, in addition to the loss of the future I dreamed of us having together.  It seems that if I did lose my son the majority of my grief would be grieving the loss of his future.  For as someone in love with his child I see a future filled with vacations, camping trips, teaching him science, helping him with homework, going to graduations, seeing him grow and hit milestones in his life as we all do.

The future is truly uncertain and so loving only in the present seems wise in some respect, but I’m not sure it’s possible.  I think the best we can do is try not to build those hopes and dreams so solidly that we allow them take different shapes.  Nevertheless a part of me feels like the love I have right now for my child seems less solid somehow because it seems largely based on a feeling completely intangible and dreams of the future.  However, I know that as he grows and I spend more time with him it will simply gets stronger and I know that as we do build more memories and I do get to know him as a person that I will be more and more in love with him.  Given how much I love him already the thought of that fills me with nothing but pleasure.  That is at least one vision of the future that I can hold on to without fear.

What is Love? (written Nov. 12th, 2012)

Humanity has been trying to define this since the first musicians and poets, perhaps even earlier.  So I figured I might as well take my shot at it.

My central thesis is that love is too narrowly defined by society and as a result we don’t experience as much love as we are capable.  I am of the opinion that no feeling of love should be discounted and that love when it happens is always a good thing.  I am normally one that approaches everything from academic standpoint, but I am going to try and keep most that out here, because my opinions are a product of both what I have read, but also from experience.  And ultimately, regardless of what we might learn academically about love, much of the views we form about love does seem to be experiential.

So perhaps to start, we should look at what we love.  I feel that love deepens in accordance with the complexity and changeability of what we love.  Which is why loving another human being is the most satisfying, but also the most difficult and sometimes rather perilous.    I feel that this is one of the reasons why people find it easier to show love towards pets, because they are relatively simplistic in comparison to humans, and are less likely to change in personality.  Provided you show love and care they will give back that love in care.  In many ways I feel this is the attraction of God as well.  However a religion defines God, God while perhaps quite complex is also unchanging and I think many people find this appealing.

In the realm of other humans, we feel love towards family, we feel love towards friends and lovers.  As a quick academic aside there is an evolutionary reason for feeling love towards family (genetic interest), love towards friends (reciprocal  altruism) and love towards those we have sexual relationships with (both genetic interest combined with reciprocal altruism for the purposes of helping offspring survive).    But putting this aside, I believe that we categorize love we feel towards different people, but I would see the feeling of love is often indistinguishable only the way that express that love is different.  This is for obvious reasons and that is important, but in general I feel that when we over categorize love and in essence try to define it under narrow criteria we lose some of its value and joy.  For instance we accept the fact that if we have a second child that we can love that new child as much as the first.  You can love your mother just as much as your father or one cousin just as much as another.  And this would be true for friends also.  Now obviously all these people are slightly different and so how you express and show that love towards them or the reasons why you love them will be different.

What we don’t accept is that when you fall in love with someone, that you can’t fall in love with someone else and still feel the same love you felt for another person.  There is some logic to this of course.  Part of this has to do with the act of “falling in love”.  Falling in love is quite the emotional roller coaster.  The physiological changes are immense, and anybody who has had that to happen will know that they are literally not in their right mind for a good period of time. There is a reason for the expression “love is blind”.  The act of falling in love often defies reason, which makes it more wonderful because that sort of loss of control is so intense and so unique that it makes the experience very spiritual.  This is probably a good thing again from an academic standpoint because you want the experience to feel very significant since the care of offspring is a long term commitment. (And yes I know that we don’t have to create offspring, but that is the evolutionary goal of all life of which we are included).   The key is that intense feeling of being “in love” fades, which is not to say that love gets worse, but the way it feels simply changes.  You get your sanity back. J  That feeling is not supposed to last 20 years and probably not even 10 years.  The point I’m trying to make here is that nature has not prescribed how many times we are supposed to fall in love, only that we will fall in love, possibly multiple times.  This feeling cannot be control, you do not choose who you fall in love with, it just happens.  Just because you are already with someone doesn’t mean it can’t happen again.  I feel that we as a society we find it easy to condemn that person and this is wrong.  However, I think also if you are with somebody already and you fall in love with someone else, we too often tie more meaning to that than there really is.  We can turn our lives upset down, and leave the person we are with for what we think of greener pastures, only to find ourselves, after the “falling in love” feeling fades to the same problems we had before.

I truly believe that our ability to feel love is unlimited, but what we are limited by is energy and time.  This is the only limit that can be fairly placed on love.  In life we must make choices.  Perhaps not about who we love more, but who we expend more of our time and resources on in expressing that love.  The amount of love you can show one child if you only have one, as opposed to 3 children is clearly more, even if you feel the same love for all your children.  We often regret most not being able to express love in proportion to our feelings.  And this can be a sad truth in life.

Love is beautiful.  Love inspires.  Love gives strength.  Love helps you grow and learn.  Love makes us better.  Even if we have limited time and energy, we should try to never be jealous when someone we love feels more love in their heart for more in this world.  Love is a good thing, and often means the most when you love without having a good reason to.  Love also happens rarely, which makes it special when it happens to you, and it should always be cherished.

Perhaps the only thing that all love has in common is that it hurts when one is rejected: whether it is a friend, a parent, a child, a lover.  We might feel that hurt in different ways, but it all has the power to give us sleepless nights, sobbing, stress, and depression.  So maybe Haddaway had it right all along in answering the question.

What is love?

Baby don’t hurt me, no more.

 

But isn’t this also what makes love beautiful?  If love was so certain I truly feel that the joy would not be as a great.   Choose to feel the joy, and life will always feel full.  I am thankful for all those in this world who have touched my heart and soul.  I promise to keep reminding you of how thankful I am for that, and hope I can touch your heart and soul in return.