This post has very little to do with photography, in fact, I’ve decided to start using my blog as more of a journal than assigning a theme to it. I took my TX-1, my X-Pro1, and my RD-1 out to Nagasaki’s lantern festival the other night. I haven’t looked at the pictures yet, but I didn’t feel good about any of my shots, and thus I will be entering hibernation for a short period and refraining from shooting in hopes of refreshing my outlook.
Completely unrelated, I had a thought on what the nature of love is.
Up until now, I’ve told myself that love is a commitment, or rather it is commitment. Love is a conscious decision that one makes. I’d say, “You are the one. Period!” And that would be that. And after that, nothing can seperate me from the person I chose. Think about it. People go through all of the easy things in a relationship. Sex, make a baby, and then of course the easiest part, which of course is to end the relationship when things get boring, or redundant. I spent the majority of my childhood without a father because my parents couldn’t do the hard work that is making a commitment. I’m using the word ‘commitment’, but maybe what I want to say is ‘love with no conditions’. I don’t care if you cheat, scream, yell, don’t listen, whatever because none of that is greater than the firm resolve that I have towards loving you. This is how we love our children, right?
Love is a commitment. A decision, and because I’ve seen it in this way, I’ve given most people a choice when meeting me. Either love me, or leave me alone. It’s one way or the other. The people I say, “I love you” to, I can count on one hand. When I say it, it carries the meaning of, “I’m committed to you. I’m not going anywhere.” But, I am a man. It’s easy for me to try to reason with the idea of love. I’m very good at it. By making love a conscious choice, I’ve essentially brought ‘love’ into my mind-space, where I am most adept. Me saying, “Love is a commitment”, is just me trying to rationalize something (love) that could possibly be completely irrational in nature. I questioned if I had gone too far with my current definition of love, since there is no room for emotion. Let me rephrase that. There are emotions, but this way of thinking doesn’t let the emotions dictate the way you interact with the person you’re involved with, or break the resolve I mentioned earlier. A strong commitment is absolutely necessary when you’ve decided to love someone, or if you just ‘fall’ into it. Even when pursuing something (like photography for instance), commitment and dedication are needed, but am I forgetting something? Have I been in Japan too long? The home of the left-brained, logical masters.
Maybe I’m afraid. I originally wanted to entitle this post, Love: from the realm of the heart, into the realm of the mind, but a.) that is really cheesy, and b.) I don’t like the word ‘heart’. I’m comfortable in my mind, but not in my heart (‘heart’ here, representing my emotions). Over the last few years I’ve been trying to train my heart actually. To never focus on anyone, save myself. To love me, and only me. That no one will appreciate my heart, and emotional love more than I would. No one is worthy. I’ve done a very good job too. The first year I felt lonely. I wanted someone badly. So the second year I moved to a tiny island where there was no one. No chance to use or confuse love with whatever I had been using before (note here, my use of the word “use”. It is intentional. I’m drawing a comparison between drug use, and the use of other people’s attention to make you feel good about yourself, which many people mistakenly call “love”). I guess I didn’t want to become a vampire feeding off of the kind words and sentiments of others, and relying on that to maintain a good self-image. I suppose I wanted to design myself, using my own thoughts and ideals. My own energy.
The 3rd year is now coming to an end, and I’ve made significant progress. I love myself, and I no longer feel the urge to surround myself with others, and feed on their thoughts. I am my own person, for better of for worse.
I’ve said all of this to say that now that I’ve somewhat completed this phase of self-love (according to the definition given earlier), I’d like to learn more about the emotional/irrational side of love, which is almost the polar opposite of who I am now. I ask that my ancestors watch over me, and guide me in this next phase. In the never-ending journey for balance, defining love as just a commitment, seems just as unfair as defining it solely by its emotional, feel-good qualities. Because really, that is what this is, an attempt to balance two things. To not be too emotional and not focus solely on the rational aspect, but to make use of both faculties wisely.
I think that some of these thoughts were spurred by the Prime Mate piece in my last post. After looking at it everyday and listening to what Sabiscuit had to say on it, I started to think about my counter, and my approach towards finding my prime mate.
I’ll leave you with this. I spent three weeks teaching my students the song in the video above, so that I could send it to someone on Valentine’s Day, only for me to mistakenly record them in time-lapse mode the day before. I re-recorded it, so I’ll just leave it here.