Random Writings and Photos

Random thoughts and/or photos

One thing to accomplish

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on September 29, 2018

Carrot Seed

Most of us would like to end our lives without regret. I think one way to do that is, of course, to accomplish something. To that end, I think I’d most want to have passed along some tidbit of knowledge, something that has made someone think. It’s not that I need to be remembered, because, as I’ve looked at that, I realize I’ll be gone, dead, without any way of knowing or caring about that.

Statues mean nothing to the dead. Moving tributes mean nothing to the dead. Our dead ancestors don’t hear us, except in our heads. We carry memories of people: how they lived, what they said to us, what we said to them, how we interacted, and all of who we think they were. We can interact with those memories; they can drive our behavior in the present. We may derive some satisfaction from following in someone’s footsteps, or following their advice, or perhaps doing something for ourselves that would have shocked that person, or disappointed them or even made them angry.

So, in a real sense, they are with us, not as a physical manifestation (a visible spirit), but as a memory, which is after all, the real ghost of that person. We all carry ghosts with us, and, perhaps not just of the dead, but the living we no longer see or interact with.

What I’m attempting to get at here, is that I thought of something, something I’d like to know someone I love would remember, something that changed them, or gave them something to pass on. But, in the time I spent preparing my breakfast until sitting down to write, I’ve forgotten what it was. I can come up with many things, but can’t recall what was on my mind an hour ago. Live a full, active life? Live for today? Love for today? All seem trite, but, then again, it may just be a very small thing, but small things can make a difference.

For instance, a carrot seed. (The Carrot Seed). I read and passed along Dihedral’s interpretation of that short wonderful story. He noticed that other people interpreted it in wholly different ways that he thought possible. Is it a story about gardening? about carrots? about a young boy? or the pointlessness of planting one seed? It is none of those things. I agree with the author on this one. Read it (linked above) and see if you do too.

So, what is that little carrot seed I could plant in the head of someone I love? I wish I knew. I’d want them to know that love is real, and real love is not about sexual attraction. So many people confuse sex with love. Notwithstanding that one can love the object of one’s sexual couplings, sex is not love, love is not sex. Leaving aside the Freudians, we do not usually desire sex with one’s parents, siblings, coworkers and friends because we love them. We do not (generally) try to have sex with every person we love. Some people feel that we should love someone before we have sex with them, but that presupposes that love is the object of the relationship. Sometimes, and often when we’re young, it is not. Hormones, loneliness, and sexual objectification can overwhelm us and actually blind us to who a person actually is. Sex is great, but it is hardly the be-all, end-all goal of life, although procreation is certainly a driving force.

I once read that love is when you care about someone without ANY anticipation of reciprocation or reward; that is real love. Infatuation? – no, you want that person, or at least sex with that person. Unrequited love (limerence)? – no, same thing, but you hope that person will feel the same way about you, and sometimes you believe it to be true, and you are hoping for your dream of being together to come true. You want your own satisfaction, you need something, and without that, you are miserable.

No, love is given freely, as trite as that idea sounds. I believe, when you love someone, you want what is best for that person, you want them to be happy, to have a full and loving life. You want that person’s success and happiness, even if you can’t be with them. Their successes make you happy, their happiness makes you smile. Their joy alone satisfies you. That is love, even if you never see that person again for the rest of your life or theirs. Many parents feel that way. Yeah, they love us, but they aren’t really expecting anything in return, in general. Some can demand your time or shows of affection. Or use their love for you as a means of control. I don’t think that is really love. Sometimes it is loneliness, and you’re handy.

But, I don’t care. By which I mean, I have discovered that I can love someone with all I’ve got to love them. I desire their happiness, their success, their joy, their zest for life, and their resilience to setbacks and hardship. And while I certainly enjoy seeing them, I can see only a photo of them smiling at an event posted on Facebook, or hugging a friend, or being on vacation somewhere in the world, or sending out a broadside message to all and every, and that gladdens me. I need nothing from them. Even if I knew nothing of their life anymore, even if they wanted nothing more to do with me, unfriended me,  ignored me, disappeared entirely – I would still love them. I know who they are, and why I love them, and well, that is not going to go away.

Friendships can be fleeting. Sexual attraction fades over time if you never see that person again, and know you never will. There’s a plenitude of people to know, and love, or have sex with, or all three. But when you discover that you love someone truly, you realize you will always love that person and that it simply cannot fade. It is not a wish or a hope, or a desire, but a reality. Something you know. You know. I cannot convince people of that, I’m sure, but, if I could convince that special person I know that: that is all they need, to love someone else, unconditionally, I will have done that one thing, passed along that one tidbit, that one carrot seed. That person they love does not need to be me, and I do not need to know it.

It certainly took me long enough in this rant to get around to it, but yeah, I’m pretty sure what went though my mind earlier was this desire to accomplish that: to leave this world having convinced someone that I love: to love, just love, and realize how wonderful that is, alone and of itself. Maybe I’m just full of myself, but I believe it.

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