"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Saturday, March 31, 2007

what is love?

i wondered that tonight as i sipped a glass of wine at my open window, staring out at the twinkling crisp of night, listening to an album from last summer, on the speakers from an old computer, glancing over the books and movies cluttered on a rickety old shelf i scrounged up in my Chicago apartment, an old black n white film playing silently in the corner of my mind.

i don't think about love a lot these days. there's enough in trying to keep up with the daily realities and physical burdens of life at Miami to fret about love. i'd say i'm a non-believer, i distrust it, hate its power, would rather look than touch it.

the only reason i think about it now is b/c my literary theory professor defined love as "free will" and that has been troubling me ever since. it seems that were love to be defined that way, it would make for a lot of ppl in unrequited love, quite possibly the most ripping agony imaginable. i would know, i'm quite the expert on unrequited love. but aren't we all? how often do 2 ppl fall in love equally with one another at precisely the same time, to say that they are both freely in love with one another? it's hardly probable that love happens that way, more likely it's a game of courtship rituals played out until one side dominates over the other and the losing side relinquishes and gives in.

thus finding this "free will" definition rather odd, i searched the dictionary, and found this:
-an intense feeling of deep affection
-a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone
-a formula for ending an affectionate letter

it was the latter i was most intrigued by. apparently, love can be reduced to no more than the word on the page, a courtesy extended out of formality or social pressure. yet, at the same time, an intense feeling. deep affection. the most intimate of physical contacts. one and the same, it seems...

somewhere in here i could insert some Foucauldian analysis of devotion conventions, the culturally structured conception of love that gives it such irreducible power, its dominance of the individual and the recurrent agony suffered by those who refuse or fail to explode this system of thought. i could employ a Derridean deconstruction of the words and expectations surrounding "love."

but instead, i will leave you with the words of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, who said that love is the thing we don't have that we are trying to give to someone who doesn't exist. in other words, a null set between the self and a nonexistent other....so sad...but canonical post-freudian psychology!

i think i like the Taoist phraseing better, when Lao Tzu wrote that "tao called tao is not tao."

love,
stephan!e

7 comments:

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol, see...you're like me in this aspect. We both think too much while drinking :)

Wine? WINE??? Lol, at least it's not Jamesons. I start rewriting the rules of quantum mechanics after doing shots of Jamesons....

Love is one of those things, like concepts like God and other esoteric things, that probably can't be defined in human language, simply because it tends to exist when we're not thinking logically or rationally.

I've always liked the old Habesha proverb When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.

Great post!

remaerdyaD said...

the zenfo pro seems... agnostic? Sorry, I drink alkyhol WAYYY to little myself... anyways

DL'ing ole stone roses videos off of youtube myself ATM while breaking out the nylon guitar with the good weather.

In this society it is synonymous with god. Organized cristians even say things like "god is love;" "Jesus is love". (Of course "jesus is god" is technically impossible, in theory.) So I guess I would conclude ifsofactly that love is going to be whatever you make of the likes of god.

What pisses me off is how this ties down and impales romance. As a Romanian, I feel strongly tied to romance through my writing (along with my nylon guitar!) and quite despise something I hold as being a sum of passion to be reduced to That. Romance is somehow candles and heart shape chocolate boxes and tuxes and white dress because you are in love because god is love because you must uphold marriage because marriage is approved by the state. Like, whatever. The point is, it becomes devoid of passion. "Passion" itself is become reference to christ too. It is all SNAFU.

Love is simply what we are doing now. We love because we are together for a few seconds on computers. This as opposed to another semantic form, like right now I "love the stone roses". Well, no I do not - I do not love the music I listen to as much as I study it. I do not love objects, like this computer, as I love you here, knowing the high probability that you may read this (i.e. were there might be found comfort we humans find in sharing with each other).

I think the problem that arises is likely found in things like when one "loves someone" - like my neighbours here. That is a situation that threatens the state itself because folks finding love on a personal level like that means that their individual reliance upon society is diminished - and as anyone who is not a part of society will tell (for which I am expert, but just ask any ex-felon) - every threat diminishing society, in however miniscule fashion, must be utterly eliminated by any means neccessary, even through violent means (thus my romance heritage is one that has both poetry and militant violence as one in the same). Thus, my love with my neighbours must be eliminated by massive scales of conformity that dictate my life be defined by isolation (this personal computer of mine is an instance of this - but today I would say it is, mostly, widescreen HD). So things like love, or passion and romance, these are things blown out of proportion so that they can be redefined along lines that permit conformity to the standard set out by society.

Find your true love, get married, bear children, die. Love is love of the state.

I think I disagree with the article here... dunno. But at least you do not seem to find this so-called "love" thing %100 agreeable, so we agree.

p.s. FWIW I also find that love of the true love variety (which I really do think is intended to torture the hell out of young women into bizarre conformities) is something that does occasionally exist in Nature. I would say most of the time, though, it comes from a parent, making it, yes, unbelievably rare in another non-relative. Still, BFD. Get over it and get on with it.

"xxxooo" (-;

stephan!e lee said...

ZP: "When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow." i like that. i like to think of being in love as standing on the edge of cliffs, the wind blowing all around you, your arms out around you.

we should both get a few drinks some time, philosophize on life and all its absurdities.

R: no worries yet, friend. i'm no sucker. i know love is a totally culturally constructed idea. perhaps no more than a chemical rxn in terms of biology, we just fill in the blanks and holes with our human minds. so silly are we.

i liked this: "get over it and get on with it"

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol, remaerdyad, nope. Actually, at one point I was a rather devout Episcopalian bent on becoming a member of the clergy...

Wow,I really have fallen far from the tree of maturity...:)

Steph:
Oh, you know it, girl! Give me a holler. We can grab a few and hang out.

remaerdyaD tending bar said...

Wow... I flashbacked to being head alterboy... now it is like, I think I stepped in a church like twice in the past twenty years or so. Yike.

Used to have a friend (who is dating my neighbour!) make one of these for me after slaving as a dish-pig, kind of like a six pack in a mug for a cold night:

_Peppermint_Patty_ (her version)
6oz coffee
6oz hot chocolate
1oz (homemade) irish cream
1oz vodka
1oz peppermint schnappes
shots of kalua, frangelico, creme de minte
top with whipped creme

Come to think of it, there is a lot of cream in it... anyways, cheers y'all

stephan!e: I will be spamming you with more infamous(sic) Daydreamerisms then.

!remaerdyaD said...

Oh yeah, it is pronounced, "geh over i' an git on wifit" in Daydreamerese (um, somewhere between Manchester and the Bronx)

Brian said...

Love is real Steph. It is real in a way, that free will doesn't touch.

Love is not equal though, it's not a formula that can be distilled.

Love is the most wonderful feeling in the world.