The Thing About Love

“All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame, and even dangerously bad ideas,” Seth Godin. I’m just putting this out there. Conversely, Ali Benjamin advises (yes, she is the one obsessed with jellyfish) something a little more practical. She says establishing a clear topic and precise purpose at the beginning of a reflection is essential. This enables the reader to understand what they will find, and how it  relates to the human condition. What the hell? I usually start with a random thought, I have no idea where it might go, or if it has any relationship to the human condition. So you can be assured this is not going where you think, it’s more like the theory of gravitational waves, or the diary of Matt Damon’s character in Martian. Or, quite possibly, I need more sleep.

I am three days into my Lenten journey, I will not reveal my sacrifice until the end, and yes, this is in case I fail, and need to revert to my back-up plan. Back-up sacrifices are predictably boring, even humiliating, something to do with kale, or water. Let’s not talk about it. The real journey, if I can stay on my game, is legit. My motivational quote for this posting, “Sometimes you want things to change so badly, you can’t even stand to be in the same room with the way things actually are,” Ali Benjamin. She is a published author so she must know what she’s talking about. This is the impetus for my Lenten sacrifice because I like to be in the general vicinity of myself.

I’m up at the lake, celebrating the long weekend, in honor of presidents and valentines. The world has erupted with offers of roses by the dozen, mattress sales, and free delivery. I wonder if this is a coincidence? Reminds me of a trip I took with Larry to Africa, we came back to the room after a romantic dinner under the stars, and there were rose petals scattered all over our canopied bed. I thought it was special until the next day when I found out everyone in the rustic resort was privy to the same romantic display. It devalued the memory, kind of like Valentine’s Day, devalues expressions of love. Everyone is expected to produce a combination of the same damn components, flowers, cards, and chocolates. How is that special? Send me flowers in the middle of the week, in August, when I’m looking like a caricature in my new bathing suit. That’s love. (By the way, if those flowers hadn’t arrived from Larry, on Valentine’s Day, he would of been in the dog house…just saying)

So let’s talk Love, Lent, and Larry. He loves being the focus of my blogs. Really, he does. He is loosely following my lenten sacrifice, I use the word loosely, loosely. It might be more correct to define his behavior as pacifying. I don’t really care, because I am trying to change a deeply engrained habit, and I need his support, conciliatory or not. This is love, the ability to accommodate your loved one, even when they are tweaking an undesirable behavior. So while I’m processing this whole Love, Lent and Larry thing I’m also listening to a interview with Krista Tippett and James Doty on the magic of the brain. He claims the pulsing of the brain, matches the pulsing of our hearts, so it goes without saying we respond to love both emotionally and intellectually. We can change our brains by changing our behavior. It takes about six weeks, damn, the Catholics were on to something. Doty says it is difficult to ameliorate (make better) our behavior in the modern world, but it can be done, in a specified time frame, with mindfulness, and maybe with someone at your side who recognizes your humanity. It’s not a bad idea, it’s precise, and relatable. Booyah.

There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.

Are you tweaking, not to be confuse with twerking, leave us a note on your progress. Feeling the love. 

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