Saturday, September 30, 2006

Another Daily

Back once again. Got some inputting done, got some reading done. Found this superb extract from the memoirs of a surgeon who served in the West Africa Squadron, (the squadron sent to patrol the coast of West Africa to intercept slave ships) named Bryson. He talks about the disease and illness that was common at the time, one of which involved what a lot of reports term 'the black vomit' - exactly what it says on the tin. In order to prove to the ships crew that the illness was not contagious, person to person, Bryson observed one of the ship's doctors drink a wine glass of the black vomit itself, which Bryson reports was the subject of much conversation over the ship for several days. Yes, I can imagine it would be, funnily enough.

I'm not sure if anyone caught Bridget's comments of a couple of days ago:

Yesterday, you got me thinking about alternative words for romance and romantic. Take a look at the attached link . . .

May or may not fit, but it was interesting.

I looked this up and printed it off and it's made fascinating reading. The concept of 'limerence' belongs to Dorothy Tannov, a writer exploring, apparently, the nature of passionate love. Her work has been critiqued as that of a scientist describing love, but I find the idea of putting love under the microscope compelling. Not least, because I've never found two people who could agree on what it means (especially it would seem, if they are a couple). From the article, I was interested that in many ways I could not see the difference between what she was describing and the common 'symptoms' or characteristics that we ascribe to 'romantic love', for example:

  • intrusive thinking about the person
  • acute longing for reciprovative feeling
  • relief through vivid imagination of reciprocation
  • fear of rejection and unsettling shyness
  • acute sensitivity for actions and behaviour of the person
  • aching in the chest when uncertain of reciprocity
  • a feeling of walking on air when feeling seems reciprocated
  • a remarkable ability to emphasize what is truly admirable in the person
As I finished reading it, I thought that perhaps what Tannov was attempting was an almost sociological perspective about trying to view the feeling of love as if you have never seen it before, without assumption, removed from its familiar context.

But it was the end of the wikipedia article that made me think most:

Love, in most of its meanings, involves concern for the other person's welfare and feeling. Affection and fondness have no objective; they simply exist as feelings in which the lover is disposed toward actions to which the recipient might or might not respond. In contrast, limerence demands return.

Looking back on some of my relationships and non-relationships with men, I think I might recognise limerence after all.....

Thanks Bridget! The photos tonight come courtesy of Chloe, my friends' daughter who show much promise in her ability to find the unusual way to look at the everyday world, and all given just twenty minutes and access to my digital camera. Is it much easier to be creative when you're young?

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