Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 4 August


Good Morning Jacob…

We’re entering the serious heat of summer.  We’ve had a generous helping of rainfall here in North Carolina and the ground beneath our feet steams with life’s manufactured bounty.  Everything everywhere is plump from prosperous times.  The sun overhead bakes all of our undertakings until they positively split open from an overabundance of goodness.  All the while chloroplast factories across the landscape are pushing photosynthetic operations to levels unseen since dinosaurs lounged in swamps and mosquitos were the size of a box of Milk Duds.  If you stop what you’re doing you can hear, wafting in the breeze, the Mother Nature Chorale sing another chorus… “Come on, Baby.  Let the good times roll!”

Somehow our planet triggered this riotous demonstration of imaginative molecular-based life and, after three and a half billion years of tweaking the global organism, we can boil this experience down to the simple statement that two minds speaking to one another makes for far more satisfying consciousness  than a single mind thinking alone.

That’s it.  Existence is best poked from multiple sides simultaneously by two people having a shared desire to find something beyond being merely awake.  Why only two?  For the same reason there are not three sexes, or more.  Find me a love song about a committee.  It isn’t a thing of beauty.  It may take many hands to bring a dream to reality but that dream begins with a single mind in love with another single mind.  I don’t know why we become so focused on another someone looking back at their other someone that happens to be oneself.  I suspect the merging of minds is too complicated to be successful when more than two are involved.    Put three people in the mix and we rely increasingly on accommodating the invariable third party out.  It quickly becomes two people and the distraction.  It is true the person on the outside trying to get in may vary with the circumstance but the result is always a tension that blocks real fulfillment for anyone.

I think we find this dynamic to be true at a very early age.  It’s a common enough experience to be instinctual.  Few matters of the mind or of the heart are as hard-wired into the human soul as is falling in love.  At least that’s what songs used to tell us when we were sixteen.  That may be the only age when we actually experience torrid, undiluted romantic love.  After that life gets complicated real quick.  There’s nothing like a personal relationship to cause a promising career to jump the tracks.  Feeling love for another can sometimes have the intensity of being under the influence of a drug.  We say and do things beyond the comprehension of more rational minds.  Don’t blame me.  I’m in love.

“Excuse me.  I’m sorry but I have to interrupt this conversation here and now.  The problem is you’re mistaking immature, narcissistic feelings and sexual passions for adult love.  Let’s be clear.  True expressions of love are actually quite responsible.  I think you’ve been characterizing love as some overwhelming desire for self-gratification.  This overweening emotional concern for self leads to delusional relationships that inevitably end badly.  This kind of story is related countless times by people with a couple of drinks under their belt in bars everywhere.  You don’t raise families and make the house payment with those kinds of notions.”

Thank you for the correction.  Where was I?  OK, here’s the point.  Maybe society is too complicated and we are all too civilized to fall in love.  Love isn’t manageable.  It’s playing with fire.  Compatibility is the far safer bet.  Intense feelings scramble the egg.  Cozy doesn’t break the yolk.  Look at your breakfast table for guidance.  If everything is neat and orderly then you should definitely stick with cozy.  If there’s a cigarette butt stashed out among the unfinished hash browns then the chances are you’ve got someone across from you that is one fiery bundle and your life is overloaded with chaos.  Truth is, though, you wouldn’t have it any other way.


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