mai 08, 2003
off the topic
So, what do you think it means to feel love? As in, "When Ava found Drusilla's discarded scarf on the sofa, a sudden feeling of deep love surged over her," or something like that. One time when I was very young, around the same time when I was puzzling over how I knew I was a girl and not a boy, I became absolutely terrified that I didn't have any concrete evidence that I loved my mother. I was pretty sure I loved her, but I couldn't verify it by any scientific means--there was no lump in my throat, no extra appendages, no change in temperature I could measure daily to see if my love had lessened or increased. I stood in the doorway of her bedroom and watched her as she combed her long black hair and sang "The Highwayman" to herself, and just felt weirdly nauseous and confused.
And yet, in later years I've always felt that I could actually, physically feel love. At least I would feel something when I thought of someone I loved & it would be different from heartburn or fear or lust or hunger or pain. Like just now I felt a sudden wave of love for my mother, and it was this mixture of tenderness and grief and contentment and happiness that manifested itself in a sudden warmth and a tightening of my shoulders and a pressure in my throat like a bubble was rising up in it, kind of like how it feels when you're going to cry. But is that love, or is it some weird sense-memory of being breastfed or being cuddled as a baby or being in a womb?
I don't know why I'm talking about this, but I was just curious if anyone had any input.
Posted by anonymousblonde at mai 08, 2003 05:20 PM
Before birth we are all in love. Afterwards, we go through the deeply personal process of forgetting and relearning love. Sometimes we are fooled into thinking we know what love is and how it feels. Sometimes we aren't.
I think each of us must decide for ourselves. The hard part is not letting someone else convince us that we don't know what love is.
There is nothing I would rather be more firm in believing than love.
O Charles, you lyrical thing. Why do you think we forget love at birth? Because babies don't love & only want?
For infants, love just is. I think having to sort through the initial sensory overload gets us sidetracked.
So you're saying infants love, because love exists naturally for them as this kind of pure, uncorrupted love-force, but then they get distracted by all the things they have to learn & forget love the way they forget how to hold their breath underwater?
Infants love naturally because before birth that's all they can know. They are enveloped in a universe that is soft, warm, quiet and comfortable. There's no thirst or hunger pangs. Their energy comes directly from the mother.
At the moment of birth the child (let's say it's a boy for now) moves into an >entirely< different world. Suddenly everything is cold, smelly, noisy, rough. A world of total confusion. Then the mother picks him up. He will soon be able to feel and identify the natural love coming from the mother and recognize her loving energy as what was felt before birth. Soon he begins to learn that when he makes certain noises she will comfort him. He can feel her tenderness and compassion and, perhaps, begins to identify those feelings with the mother's love-energy.
Let's say that much later in his life, perhaps in his mid 20's or so, the mother dies. Now grief may be associated with the love he felt for her. Strongly at first, but as the years go by it's moderated to a mixture of feelings and emotions that have become associated with thoughts of her.
Charles, I know you're not going to read this because it's been months, but: Did your mother die recently? This mid-20s business--it's not the typical age you'd give for someone's mother dying. Should I worry?