Saturday, August 22, 2015

Plurality of Love

I am always horrified and repulsed when someone says that they couldn't possibly have another child because they 'don't have enough love in their heart for more children.' This idea that love is a scarce resource has always repulsed me. People have this false idea that romantic relationships should be monogamous because they 'can't' love more than one person. It is one thing to be monogamous because that is what works for you.

Loving one person versus loving many people is a bullshit argument. I love my husband and I love my children. Right there, I am loving more than one person. Love is something that we can hold for many, many people to varying degrees. Romantic love is different from familial love which is different from platonic love. But here's the crazy idea, all of these forms of love are different on the basis of context and expression. That feeling of love is still there otherwise we wouldn't call it love.

I was talking with my old friend K. from high school who mentioned her repulsion with that idea I mentioned at the beginning of this post. We talked about it for a minute and decided that it was a complete cop out. If you don't want more children, own that shit. You don't need to justify yourself to anybody. If you don't want to be polyamorous, own it. Again, there is no reason to justify yourself.

Love is love. It is separate from how big your family is, how many friends you have, who your lover(s) are, or how much shit you own. We need to stop conflating love and its context. It is lazy and irresponsible. It also sets up this horrible standard that love can only manifest in X number of forms if you are Y type of person in Z situation. Love doesn't depend on the context. Love happens on its own. It is like water. It may take the shape of the container it is in (the context) but it is not the same thing as what is holding it.

And the glorious thing about love is that unlike water, the more you give away, the more you have. It is a self renewing resource. Emotional investment is a tricky thing. We can get exhausted from emotional investment but it doesn't negate the emotions. If I have learned anything from this bullshit with bipolar that I have been dealing with for the last six years, I have learned that emotion is separate from context. Correlation does not equate causation.

Yes, there are a great many things that can provoke an emotional response, given the correct context. That, however, is a case of you responding to stimuli and then interpreting it in an emotional context. Let's think about it for a second. The physical symptoms of the body's arousal response are all pretty much the same. The limbic system for humans is more or less the same for each human and does the same thing, most of the time. The frontal cortex processes the stimuli as it hits the limbic system. For a moment, all you've got is the physical response to the stimulus. But, depending on how the frontal cortex processes the situation, that response can be fear, anger, excitement, anxiety, sexual arousal, or something entirely different.

Love is the same set of sensations every time. That's how we identify it from other emotions. The context helps us assess what is provoking that response. It can be the face of our child, the face of our lover, the sight of a pet, a favorite item, or anything else you can possibly have that stimulates that response. Yes, the process that the love response comes from is somewhat more complex than that of the fight-or-flight response. It doesn't change the fact that it is the same response for different stimuli.

Damn near anything can provoke a fight-or-flight response given the correct context. Why can't anyone figure out that it is the same thing with love?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Considering shorts.

Earlier this week, I read an erotica short that was kicking around on the Kindle that Beloved gave me a while back. As I read this thing, I was struck by two things. The first that hit me was how the writing wasn't all that great (mediocre at best) and yet they still got paid. The second thing that hit me was how short the thing was. It was a lot like reading one of the scenes I was writing on my other blog. It has been on the back burner for months now.

It isn't that I was embarrassed by what I was writing. It wasn't that I was burned out. The problem was I had no idea what to do next or where to go with that project. The lack of feedback that happens with my blogging makes it hard to keep posting material. It gets to a point where I wonder if I should just resume putting everything into notebooks. Still, seeing this bit of erotica Sunday afternoon got me to thinking.

I can write better material than that. I do on a regular basis with my rough drafts. It doesn't look like it would be too difficult to produce material for it and self-publishing is pretty easy with e-books. I think the real challenge would be covers. I don't have a budget for snazzy covers. A part of me toys with the idea of using some of my sketches for it but then I question if the quality of my sketches is strong enough for that. The other thought is to start doing abstract pieces to go with the stuff I'm writing and use a little digital manipulation to make the cover.

That, however, is going into territory that I literally have no idea what I would be doing. Still, the thought of producing something on a semi-regular basis that would not just get me readers but possibly a bit of cash is interesting to me. It is appealing and I guess that is a good sign. As things are getting settled and the school year is about to start soon, I know I am going to have time to resume writing my scenes. I have a few story lines that I really need to finish but I'm not sure how to get from point A to point B still. My attempts to just let my subconscious come up with it are not exactly bearing fruit.

I think I'm just going to have to sit down and do what I've done with larger works. Make myself a plot map and diagram how the whole thing is going to work. The initial idea of just writing the serial stories off the cuff is hindering me and making production very difficult.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Strawberry Freezer Jam & Preserving Foods.

I have been bitten by the preserving bug. In the refrigerator, I have 2 pints of strawberries. I am going to hull them and make freezer jam this week. I really like Mommpotamus's recipe. I made some last year using frozen strawberries. I can only assume it will be even more amazing with fresh strawberries.

I want to pack it into jars that will do well in the freezer but I have run out of the small pint and half pint plastic jars. I could use the plastic tubs and such that I have kicking around underneath the sink but I don't know if that it such a great idea. Thinking about it, I may have to wait until this weekend and pick up some freezer jars when I get groceries.

I picked up a tiny head of red cabbage. I am going to attempt, again, to make sauerkraut via fermentation. I was excited when I found some suggestions for how to avoid getting mold on the top of the ferment. That was what made the last attempt go so horribly. But, according to what I have read on the blogs of several people who do lacto-fermentation, I can put a layer of olive oil over the top of the brine and it will stop that from happening. I think I will get 1 pint of sauerkraut out of that cabbage, possibly a little less. But that is ok, because I only want that much for now, just to test if the recipe will work.

If it does, I am going to make a little more to give away, just like what I will be doing with the extra strawberry jam. I currently have a batch of refrigerator pickles going (with garlic) and I expect that they'll be ready by Saturday. Beloved is interested in seeing how they came out. If they're as good as I think they'll be, he will be happy.