The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

As a child grows older, eros is directed not only to the mother but also to the father, siblings, and the world as a whole. I remember when my daughter Leah was three years old and wanted to explore everything around her. She had so much vitality that she could run all day long and not be tired. “Run with me, Daddy! Somersault!” She twirled in circles and got so dizzy that she would fall down and laugh and laugh. She would chase fireflies, talk to leaves, swing from her knees on the monkey bars, and pet every dog she saw. When I looked at Leah, I saw eros, the full pulsation of life. I envied her and yearned for what I had lost.

Helen and I strive to keep eros alive in Leah, to sustain the brightness of her eyes and the thrill of her contagious laughter. But, despite our best intentions, we do not meet all of her needs. Sometimes it seems as if life itself is making her turn inward. Once she was frightened by a large dog and learned to be wary of strange animals. One day she slipped in a pool and developed a fear of water. But sometimes Helen and I are more directly to blame. We have five other children besides Leah, and there are times when she feels left out. There are days when we come home from work too tired to listen to what she is saying, too distracted to understand what she wants. Tragically, we also wound her by unwittingly passing on our own childhood wounds, the emotional inheritance of generations. We either overcompensate for what we didn’t get from our parents or blindly re-create the same painful situations.

For whatever reasons, when Leah’s desires are not satisfied a questioning look comes over her face; she cries; she is afraid. She no longer talks to leaves or notice the fireflies darting about the bushes. Eros is blunted and turns in on itself.

- Harville Hendrix in Getting the Love You Want