idiotic dildo fatwa.

I am constantly reminded why I should make my current job work (although I knew and I do not forget my extended sporadic employment).

I've been listening to Nickel Creek's latest album recently, up in the quiet little cave that is my room (it's a pretty, quiet neo-bluegrass album that I recommend even to people who don't like bluegrass much). I don't spend enough time in my room recently: I'm always running off to class or spending time with people or something. After my test tomorrow, I am going to ease up on training for at least a few weeks, since my lower back started spasming towards the end of class tonight. I take it as a sign. I'm not really at my best for anything when I'm tired: I can work, but only as a very smart zombie, and it becomes an effort to get myself to class or to hang out with the people I love. I'm not as focused, as present; too busy making myself walk or move or type to feel the magic of the moments. They're always there, but I have a hard time letting go of the rushed and blurry feeling.

Love is such a curious thing. I don't pretend to understand it, or really have a grip on what makes the feeling different from, say, eating really good sushi, or having the perfect satisfying nap (good rest, maybe about 20 minutes long so I don't wake up groggy, not too hot, not too cold). I just know it when I feel it, or I think I do. I'm pretty cautious nowadays.

"Polyamory" is (as far as I know) a fairly recently made-up word meaning "loving many". It's a wonderful word, covering a huge amount of ground to encompass any of the infinite varieties of honest non-monogamy that people practice. From a strictly historical perspective, monogamy doesn't quite have the pedigree we're used to thinking of: the Greeks and Romans, being slave-owning pederasts, are maybe not the best examples, but really monogamy seems to be a sort of Western and specifically Judeo-Christian thing. Some rather respectable spiritual paths don't even bother considering marriage a religious thing: most of the Buddhist world seems to treat marriage as a secular affair, not something separate from its general treatment of male-female relationships (which ranges from "lots of sex with lots of partners is key to the path of enlightenment" to "meditating constantly on the putridity of the body is key to the path of enlightenment"). So people have to find their own reasons for getting married, which is true in the West as well. I've known a few couples who have gotten divorced because they realized that either they'd never figured out why they were getting married, or the reasons for being so had changed over time; and, in fact, if I had gone ahead and gotten married (instead of freaking out and breaking it off), I'd be in another one of those couples.

As Rodgers and Hammerstein put it, "it ain't necessarily so": nothing has to be the way we're used to, the way we've grown up with, the way society says it has to be. Not that those things are inherently bad by virtue of being common and normal, but it turns out that on examination there are plenty of other options that can work just as well. For instance, if you drop the dogma that you're only "allowed" (by some mysterious, unnamed authority, who incidentally never checks up on you) to date one person at a time, and both the people you're dating know about each other, feel taken care of, and are generally happy with the whole situation--well, there you go. It's working. For most of us, being with one person doesn't stop us from being attracted to other people, or developing relationshps of varying depth with them that could well veer off into the sexual. So why not let more love in?

I dunno. We all construct our lives in ways that are meaningful to us and make us comfortable and happy. That could mean having one relationship or many or none, living alone or with several people. This--that we construct our lives with our choices--is as true for me living my rather special and unusual life in Northern California as it is for the middle-aged couple in Iowa with the 2.5 kids and minivan (I guess it would be an SUV these days) and white picket fence and perfect lawn that gets excessively treated with pesticides twice a month. And the structure of their lives, and their reasons for getting together and the things that keep them together, are probably not quite as simple as they seem and would probably surprise us.

Nothing is simple. We just wish it were. *grin*