Saturday, June 12, 2010

About passion

I never understood passion until I had children. I thought that I just couldn't feel it; that I was iceblooded and could not be moved much, because I always felt detached and mechanical when I had sex, and I thought that was the only place you could really have passion (it never occurred to me that I was just bad at it--now I am content to recognise that I am doing it wrong and probably always will). I have never really had anything I lost myself in. Always there was some part of me observing, taking notes almost. I might get carried away singing at the football, but I'd need to have way too many drinks to get to the place where that was possible.

But I love my son passionately, and it has nothing to do with sex, of course. I see him lying in his bed, his face beautiful and calm in sleep, and I want to sacrifice everything so that he can remain untroubled. I do not just resent people who want to do him harm; I resent the notion that anyone could want to do him harm, that there ever should be anyone who would want to. I used to believe I was a pacifist, that I would never kill a person no matter how I was provoked, but now I know I am not. I would not kill or die for my country, but for my son, I would not even blink.

That seems overdramatic, but isn't that what passion is? It's whatever can make you fierce, whatever can make you lift yourself above the grind, the shit job you are making of your life, the sweet notes that rise above the noise. I am blessed that I learned that I too could find those notes, in fleeting moments, when I see him sleeping and I think, god I love him, and I know that the capacity to love is what has made being human, having this life, worthwhile.


At 2:21 am, Anonymous Looney said...

Yes and yes. To me there is nothing strange about your passion, but then you've met me and my boys :)

It's one of those things you can't know until you're there, and then you almost wonder who you were before these little ones came along.

As for pacifism, I'm with you. Then again I'm a gun-toting Yank, right? Okay, I don't have a gun. Anyhow, my older son (whom you know has his developmental challenges) went through a period where he was being bullied, a brief little daily ritual of abuse (a punch in the nethers.) The little thug not only abused my son, but had managed to convince him that it was funny, something to go along with. We found out quite by accident when he was laughingly discussing having to face the ritual the next day.

Needless to say, Daddy saw red, and had this other little fellow been in reach, I would probably be doing some hard time, though the lad would likely have lived through it. It's one thing to know inside you could do such a thing. It's another to realize that only proximity has saved someone a world a hurt (myself? the bully? I can't decide)

It was dealt with the next morning in a far more rational manner, of course, but I cannot understand the mentality of a person who will victimize another person just because they're vulnerable.

Most especially a child.

And even more especially my child.


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