Monday, August 15, 2011

Fall In Love With As Many Things As You Can

Watched a movie called Country Strong last night. I dug it. Carol picked it. She has a knack for picking movies that we are not familiar with that turn out to be pretty tasty. I agonize over a decision as I scroll through 250,000 choices on On Demand, trying to pick the perfect movie. The movie that matches my mood that day, and my taste, and Carol's taste, and the time of year, and the weather, and the mood of our cats and every other goddamn thing under the sun. Carol scrolls through and says "This sounds good", flicks the button and lo and behold, nine times out of ten, it is enjoyable. Amazing.
Anyway, at one point Gwyneth Paltrow says " Don't be afraid to fall in love. It's the only thing that matters in life. Fall in love with as many things as you can." It's that last part that got me thinking. We all want love, love really is what life is all about. The testosterone crew at The Booze Emporium would never admit it publicly, the pseudo-macho crowd I sling booze to at the legion would never admit it publicly, but love is everything. If we could all wallow in true love as my cats do, we could all be as happy as my cats are. It is a basic human longing, to love and to give love (if you are capable of unselfishness), it satisfies your soul and it fires up endorphins in your brain. Love is safety; the world is harsh and unforgiving, you struggle financially and emotionally and physically to just survive. Coming home to love is sweet release, a warmth, protection, validation of the human spirit.
But "fall in love with as many things as you can" really opens up the playing field, and I agree with the sentiment. What a great way to put it. You can't always be with the one you love; you have to go to work and there are other odious obligations in your life that keep you apart. Having only 1 minute and 13 seconds to feel loved in a day is not healthy. Because everything else in your day is designed to break you down into a non-feeling automaton. That's how society functions.
I love The Allman Brothers Band. They thrill me and give me great pleasure, but I don't listen to them every day or think of them every day. If I did, that would be one more oasis of humanity. Football. Huge in my life. A daily fix of some sort would be magic. Music in general. Like blood to me, but there are days when I don't listen to one note of music. What a waste of love, of feeling uplifted and alive. Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, F. Scott Fitzgerald, writers that I worship and yet after fifty seven years I have not read every one of their books. Why not? The time I spend reading them is love, it is life.
I love to write. It is a major release for me. I don't write every day. Am I a simpleton? Some would say yes, I say no. I'm human and fallible. And I'm keeping a list of those who would say yes for when I buy a gun.
Everyday things. Sun, warmth, flowers, friends. I don't give a damn if you think this list is corny; it is real.
My sons. An enormous source of love for me; magical, fun filled, independent, intelligent creatures, and I don't even think of them every single day. How can I not think about my sons every day? How stupid. Just writing this, forces me to think about them and I am filled with pride and happiness. They just made my day so much better.
You get the point. You have your own list. Hopefully you are as lucky as I am to have a magnificent spouse to come home to at night, a woman who makes me feel loved and appreciated, a woman who makes me happy. One more oasis of humanity in my day. But when you are away from that person you need to concentrate on the other loves in your life.
Fall in love with as many things as you can. Chances are you have already done a lot of that, although I believe there is always room for new discoveries, new passions that can vibrate your emotions. I think we fall short in not focusing on these things, not recognizing them for the power that they hold. Not paying attention to the fact that whatever it is, just made you feel alive and human, just resonated directly with who you are. Life is very, very hard and it never turns out the way you thought it would. But if you can absorb love from everything that means something to you as often as possible, you can soften the blow. And really flip an imaginary bird to every controlling cretin who tries to strip you of your humanity.
Fall in love with as many things as you can. Make it a mantra.

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