I'm going to jump all over the place as I scribe my impressions. Right now I'll turn to one strata of experience that occurred on Saturday.
Somewhere into the first hour of Saturday, my mind began... I don't know how to describe it... I want to say "buzzing." It was like so many stimuli were demanding my mental attention, there was no way to handle them all. Kind of like if you're standing in a crowd and everyone is brushing against you, you begin not to feel any one particular person. It wasn't unpleasant enough to be called "overwhelmed," just kind of like a threshold had been reached. (My friend Michelle might call it a mental orgasm. Ha!)
This state kind of led up to an emotional state that I can only compare to when I was in labor. (And here, I'll probably lose most of my readers! Sorry!) Every woman reacts differently to being in labor when it finally sets in, but my emotional reaction was heightened feelings of love. (Probably all that oxytocin...) I remember during my labor looking around the room and feeling almost ridiculously in love with everyone I saw, even my (now ex-) husband, towards whom I otherwise spent most of the rest of our marriage feeling scorn, anger, and resentment. I was so grateful everyone was there, I thought everyone was just beautiful and wonderful, and even though I was working hard through the contractions, I soaked in the presence of the others around me.
That state of mind was similar to how I began to feel on Saturday. I felt like I loved everyone around me, even though I didn't know them. I was so grateful and awed by their presences.
And yet, at the same time, just like being in labor, I felt like I was being stretched open. I started crying several times on Saturday. I cried a lot Sunday at home too. Not even sure, exactly, why. (Of course, I have some ideas, which is why I'm exploring them in this blog series.) I don't know what I'm giving birth to here, but even viscerally, in my body, I'm feeling like something is being born. Is this even making sense?
Back to the topic of love. A realization struck me on Saturday. Love is not always a pleasant, positive emotion. Pain is embedded into love's very nature.
Love wants to unify with the beloved. That's why it's painful, because achieving unity is impossible to do. It is impossible for me to merge with you. Love requires a plural-- at minimum a lover and a beloved. If the lover merged fully with the beloved, there would either be no more lover to love, nor beloved to be loved. If love attained its goal, it would destroy itself. The ache of love is the recognition that the object of your desire is actually beyond the object, and into the impossibility of unity.
The Fibonacci series is about love, because it is about endlessly approaching something that is impossible to attain. The golden mean, pi, and every imaginary number is about love. Paradox is love. Nothing is love. Godde is love.When I looked around at all the amazing people at the conference on Saturday, seeing them, somehow, through eyes of love, the pain of it struck me. There's no way I could ever get to know all of these people at the depths that love demands. There's no way I could ever even fully know myself and the small circle around me at such depths. We live imperfectly, in an orientation towards love, but never fully achieving it.