Curiosity is terminal

Friday, 30 November 2012

Come On Over to My Place, Honey. We'll Talk About Love.

Coming out.

I entered this fray intending to blog about politics. I am a reasonably engaged (and outraged) Bc'er and Canadian. I am one of those people my federal government has branded a radical, and I have been involved in union and progressive activities most of my life.  I read a lot of blogs and I admire the research and analysis that goes on out there. I see a lot of good people who want good for others, who are working to inform us and to hold cruelty to account. I wanted to help do that too.  But frankly, it took over my life and it was all I thought about and man, I got depressed.  So I'm leaving that to the bloggers I admire. I'm still going to picket and protest and hand out information to my fellow students about pipelines and omnibudgets, but I'm not going to feel like I have to write about it.

I think the world is love starved, and I think it knows it. I am heartened when a video about giving away some boots goes viral. And even more so when there are no trolls in the first 50 comments on it. I was overjoyed yesterday when Ian Welsh wrote a wonderful post about kindness.  And again this morning when I discovered a blog called Song of the Watermelon with a column on environmental rights  which sounded very much to me like a call for a big dose of love.

I'm 46. Carpenter, instructor, former cook and waitress.  I go to college part time. I started out taking stuff because I wanted an education. Five years ago my heart and I managed to blow my world to emotional smithereens. While I was recovering I read two books that changed my life. Trite, I'm sure. They were The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D. and A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini, M.D., and Richard Lannon, M.D.  The Brain That Changes Itself inspired in me a million questions about neural plasticity.  So I began taking psychology courses and part way through the second one I realized I needed to know biology and chemistry, because the answers to my questions keep tracing back further and further. But A General Theory of Love began a new line of questions for me. The brain can change its patterns, it can bypass damage and it can allow the body to learn new ways of functioning, but love changes the brain, too. And lack of love is fatal.  So I want to know what love is. I want to understand how it works.  I want to know what goes wrong when it is absent.

This last weekend I saw a terrific one man band called Drum and Belltower.  He did this song, and everyone in the restaurant danced:

Maybe music and dancing are part of love. I think they are.

I know this too is trite and it has been my secret for the last 4 years: I believe that love is the answer. What I am not too sure of is what are the questions? I intend to spend the rest of my life looking for the  questions.


  1. Not trite at all....

    Inspiring actually.


  2. Ah, Thanks RossK. I get rolled eyes when I admit this sometimes. But I've decided to give up pretending that this is not on my mind all the time.

  3. I like your focus.
    One of the things that impresses me most about people as they mature, is that most leave behind self centred hate and suspicion. If you look at those thought to be inspiring, it is that they seem to exemplify social 'awareness' and are able to relate well to others. Anyone with extensive route sales ( service oriented work ) experience tends to undergo this sort of transformation.
    I don't recall the name of it off the top of my head, but there was an inspiring movie about a handicapped Watkins salesman. His operating principle was simply that a stranger was a friend he had not met before.
    And musicianship and ballads are both performance art and communications/social commentary.
    The male singers in the medieval church using Gregorian Chant were implementing a vocal mantra which appealed to people instinctively.
    You should note that some religions actively prohibit the use of music. Indeed, one bans the use of words in its songs of praise ! ( I think that is a Jewish sect. )

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, opit.
      I like that, " a stranger is a friend you haven't met." I have a small story about that I think I shall write about. It's kind of how I live my life.

      I think its very interesting what our institutions prohibit- there's lots to be gleaned there.

      I also don't believe that religion and love are even remotely synonymous, although I think the intention may have been there once in some religions.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hm. I was looking to amend my comment ....."don't believe that religion and love are even remotely synonymous"
      Ahem. Given that religion is generally dedicated to imposing one's beliefs on others....nor do I. :)

      That was simply because I had forgotten to point out what I hope you might find interesting

    4. Comment applications can be capricious. I have no idea how they work, sorry if mine is messing with you.

      That looks like an interesting article. Thank you for the link. I will read it more thoroughly after my final exams are over next week. The first paragraph in your entry made me think of a book by Jacob Bronowski, called Science and Human Values that I am also saving for my Christmas break, which talks about not leaving emotions and art and poetry out of science.

      Having just begun a scientific education, I can easily see how one could get caught in the mechanics of a pursuit and forget that one is looking at only part of a sentient being.

    5. I have a couple of online acquaintances at Opera Community who should remind you that science and personhood are not mutually antagonistic. Indeed, a sense of wonder is integral to becoming the most that we can be. Look up Dr. John v. Kampen, science writer and curious about many things including religion. My Hiding Place
      Opera can be a pain resolving at times. I find the community - check the header link - a good gang. Opera is a free browser as well but you don't need to use it to operate an account. I used the browser after Google made it free. Playing YouTube without Adobe Javascript gives one a chance to avoid hacking.
      At the top left is a list of contacts which I cannot find a way to blog in my usual fashion. That does not mean I do not find them worthwhile !