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2003-04-14 17:35:52 (UTC)

RECIPROCITY


Reciprocity by Christine Hollowell Johnson


One rabbit trail that leads my head to thoughts
of love brings on the spontaneous thud of a turbulent
cluster of emotions right down in the pit of myself. A
tornado of various bodily responses quickly takes over and
forms the twister I call the moment. And in that moment I
am both assuaged and dismayed. I find myself taking the
easiest route of escape by distracting myself from the
intense desire to pursue my cravings. I cannot ascertain
whether it is the bondage or the freedom that brings on the
paralyzing fear that comes from loving another human
being. Nor can I determine whether I know the first thing
about love. I only possess the education afforded me by my
past experiences. I aspire to be an optimist and convince
myself that all my experiences with love and being loved
have brought some form of greater understanding and
heightened awareness of the essence of love. Yet, I seem
to lack the ability to be objective in my observations of
my own experiences. I can only truly see how much my own
heart has been thwarted and misguided by my own perceived
emotions at the time. I do not now sit here with the
intent of dismantling the definitions and qualities of
love. I am merely trying to discern why I seem to
unconsciously connect a feeling of love with a feeling of
tragedy. This Shakesperian philosophy of love is what many
of we humans seem to pursue without our own conscious
decision. We are drawn to love, by the human definition,
like a summer swarm of various insects are drawn to a back
porch light. There is no real caution that produces any
fruit of avoidance in this matter. I am selective in my
willingness to trust another human being. But I seem to be
drawn to the situations that will bring me the least
possible return. I am not aware at present of any
deliberate attempts to do this. It may well be that I
repeat the past experiences of my dealings with love in an
obscure attempt to solve the riddle of what happened. When
did love become so complicated? And to be more specific
why do I pursue the objects of affection that cannot
possibly be contained by me? This seems in my rational
mind to be a sort of sadistic ritual of self mutilation.
But now I’m old enough to take a proverbial step back and
look at the situation with some attempt to draw wisdom from
my life’s experiences with love and maybe even more
specifically… relationships. Yet inevitably with the topic
of love there seems to be no rational explanations to be
found. “Is love a fancy or a feeling…?” William
Shakespeare.
If love is by Merriam/Webster’s definition is “1.a
strong affection for another arising out of kinship and
personal ties,2. attraction based on sexual desire…,3.
affection based on admiration, benevolence or common
interests” than how is love to remain constant? Things like
affection, attraction, sexual desire, admiration and common
interests are all things that can and will change. William
Shakespeare goes on to say in his sonnet about love,“oh no,
it is an ever fixed mark…” Merriam/Webster’s definition of
love is movable. (to be continued....)


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