Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

  • Music:

Moving Forward

Everyone is trying. To get to the bar.
The name of the bar: the bar is called Heaven.
The band in Heaven, they play my fav-o-rite song.
Play it one more time. Play it all night long.

Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.

There is a party, everyone is there.
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time.
It's hard to imagine how nothing at all
could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.

When this kiss is over, it will start again.
It will not be any different.
It will be exactly the same.
It's hard to imagine that nothing at all
could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.

Surrounded by opportunities. My tastes, my skills, my interests, my whims determine which I indulge. This is what life is like for a single modern American open to the abundance of cultural riches that surrounds us all.

My moment-by-moment environmental control is absolutely dictatorial -- by world-historical standards. I am basically a god -- I actually exercise far more than the personal powers early civilizations reserved for their own gods.

This is true in every life area -- except sometimes when other people are around. Within the next five minutes, I can completely reboot my immediate surroundings: the visual lights, audio music, bodily motion, zone-balanced calories with most any desired tastes & textures, reading or hearing perfectly appropriate words from most anyone I've ever heard of. I'm writing this instead, and I have no present desire to change any of that because it all feels momentarily perfect...

But it's very, very nice to know I can radically change any of it the instant I want to. Perhaps this is the heart of what it means to be a quirkyalone.

All this minute-by-minute detailed control of your own inputs feels so, so valuable. At least once you let yourself become a neurotic control freak, like me.

I do somewhat worry that I've gone too far. Most of the world considers most of my friends neurotic control freaks -- and I've long noticed that I'm the second-worst offender of them all ("second-most precisely self-environment-managing", to put it another way).

In this economy, what happens to romantic love? Love, at least the way I love it, is at least a full-time job. It blissfully consumes focus. It competes with everything else. In love, our most basic instincts crave continuity (in time, in space, in story -- all three Greek dramatic unities!), crave security ("why's he watching that porno? will he still love me tomorrow?"), crave purity of focus. In love, our most basic instincts kick into high gear, giving us dozens of strong attractors ("yes, the blue dress, put it on!") and repellors ("um, no, you can't go to that concert with him. that would feel so wrong.") to balance overnight. Oh yeah, and each party has hir own slightly varying set of all these, plus all hir preexisting (outside) values & disvalues, making quite the operations management puzzle! ("what if he doesn't want to listen to 'Tiny Dancer' on infinite repeat for three straight hours?")

Last weekend, I met a girl who was divorced a year ago. Her eight-year marriage was a clear casuality of modern opportunities: Her ex-husband simply has other goals, and she was slowing him down. She loves him still, she misses him greatly, and she tells a heartfelt tale. His web page is full of huge personal goals and activities.

Personally, I really give in to romantic love. I bliss out, it becomes my main focus, the bar is called Heaven. And, I'm usually fairly articulate about what I want/need. I've been known to take away a girl's wristwatch because it beeped more than once.

Big-picture, this explains the end of almost every shared living relationship I've experienced.

I am, and some of the girls were, too deeply individualistic (control freakish about many many details) to sustain a shared life with another control freak. And, the modern world has shaped most everyone reading this into a control freak in hir private life.

Remember the ancestral environment? Your bodymind does. It's pretty well optimized for the ancestral lifestyle: living in a small tribe, working in teams, romancing in pairs, relying on extended family, appreciating nature. Your bodymind is in many ways clearly designed to find the people in your life -- your loved ones -- absolutely the most wonderful interesting entertaining things in the world. Your modern circumstances have greatly expanded your palette, have pulled you away from all that close bonding. It's rare to just singlemindedly appreciate another person in the now.

Cynicism, detachment, endless rootlessness -- these are distinctive responses to purely modern circumstances. So are computer programming, reading, watching movies, writing, working outside the home, and most of how private serenity seems to us. We moderns have so much more to think about, to feel about, to do, all by our lonesome.

And all of that directly competes with serious persistent romance -- and it competes just as much with having children. Raising children was surely designed to be directly enjoyable to the parents, but -- let us be frank -- nowhere near as directly enjoyable as early-stage romantic love attractions. Romantic love is the world's most powerful poetry -- and it can be very attractive to me even now, me surrounded by competing cultural riches. On the other hand, the most neurotically control freakish of us cannot even imagine rationally choosing to have a child.

I love to think. I love to write. I love cultural riches. (I mean, just look at my Interests list!) I love various money-making jobs. All of that is best done/enjoyed alone, with 100% focus. That's almost obvious.

Romantic love is a jealous master. And everything else is a cloying mistress. It may no longer be possible to have it all. The modern all keeps getting bigger: so many competing values, still just one self.

Where is my salvation? Some perfect blend of fantasy and reality? (I think that's what I'm trying right now. I expect to write some about it soon.) A thoroughgoing voluntary simplicity, eliminating many specific desires? (But that requires making choices! And commitments! The horror!) Becoming okay with tension/fighting/conflict? (Never. Grrrrr! It hasn't been enough even to compromise. I must feel us moving toward actual agreement as a couple on all issues.)

Distinctively modern central conflict: The best things in life, the most myriad options, tend to come to you at the same time, all at once, these days. I wanted jaffo's second book to be about that...

My own first book is about love -- about a style of romantic love that can somehow explode into more possibilities, rather than repetitively less, in our modern world. It's a style I've only briefly experienced and can barely describe -- but nobody else has a real handle on it either.

"well i guess i have something to look forward to" -- VAST
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