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Sunday , January 17, 2010
TOO LOVE FOR YOU: The Plan Is That There Is No Plan
Maybe I was swept up in the "Whoo hoo new!" energy of January 2010, but about a week after I announced my personal TOO LOVE FOR YOU project in this year's edition of our New Year's resolutions, I seriously wanted to forget I ever said anything about it in the first place. For one thing, there was the noisy type-A taskmaster in my brain, the one that is a combination of Lee Iacocca, Madonna (the business tycoon version, not the pop star version) and my really loud, cranky inner Oprah. This little imaginary "friend" of mine was yelling, "YOU'RE GRADUATING THIS SEMESTER, WHAT AM YOU THINKING, YOU'RE PRODUCING ONE FILM, DIRECTING ANOTHER AND YOU'RE GODDAMN TRYING TO SELL YOUR FEATURE SCRIPT!!! WHAT ARE YOU, A JERK?" Yes, taskmaster, sometimes I am.
The other big thing is that I got really shy and insecure about this whole project. I mean, I couldn't have picked a broader, more overworked subject than love. It's so corny! So obvious! So many smarter, wiser, happier, sexier, and more wonderful people have and will say smarter, wiser, happier, sexier and more wonderful things than I ever will. Even though I don't kid myself that anything I think will have a lasting impact upon the firmament of human civilization, I hate to pollute the mental landscape with more tired, boring, clichéd thinking and writing and spewing and blech, blech, blech.
Sadly, though, I am someone who really hates to go back on anything I've said I'm going to do. If I declare I'm going to do something, I generally move mountains to make it happen. I just dreaded the idea that someday, someone out there would ask me, "So, yeah, Kat, didn't you say you were going to do a new column about love?" And I'd get that mini spiral-of-shame feeling and look down at my feet and shuffle around, muttering something about being "busy" and "having other things to do." Ugh, it feels pathetic just to write it down, much less say it to someone's shoes. So, le sigh, as they say. Here goes, forward with the mental pollution...
The sad fact is that I begin this endeavor with absolutely no clue how to start, and with no real conviction that I know anything about love worth communicating to begin with. This isn't to say that I'm not well-loved and love others well in my life--when it comes to being loved and loving others, I am, do and quite a lot. I feel really lucky in this respect. But when I think about how these loves arise, are expressed and cultivated and then grow and/or fall apart (depending on the type of love, circumstances and others involved), there's no codified approach, philosophy, or larger sense of wisdom or understanding. I'm a person that likes to find a lens through which to look at things; I like having a lot of lenses, too. (Does this make me an existential ophthalmologist or something?) There's not a lot of consciousness applied to my experiences of love; it's been an ad-hoc, grab-bag set of strange delusions, powerful fantasies, beautiful moments, heated emotional reactions, hormones, true confessions, major fake-outs, hard truth, pretty lies and sheer dumb luck.
I'm good at a lot of things: time management, packing for trips, styling my friends, making mixes, inhaling books, editing video, disciplining myself to write, and souping up store-bought foods into culinary minor masterpieces. But love in all its forms--I flail like a raver on crack when it comes to love. Is it unbelievably weird and earnest to want to be better at love, to understand a little better this experience that so many people crave and desire and want? Perhaps, but "unbelievably weird and earnest" is probably a good nutshell description of me to encapsulate all my good and bad days. So I may as well just accept that and move on. So I begin with that Zen idea of beginner's mind, which specifically means that I admit there is nothing in my brain that comes forth when I ask myself, "What's something we should all know about love?" Nothing except, well, the image of a box of Vosges chocolates, but that could just be because I'm writing this after a run and I am STARVING.
I found the pretty picture here: http://imgfave.com/view/69717