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.