Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On unconditional love (and happy birthday)

I've a column in the Canberra Times today, 'Navigating the conditions of unconditional love'.

After a Twitter conversation with Karen Pickering and Ben Pobjie, I'm suggesting that so-called 'unconditional love', at least for couples, is a dubious ideal.

What we have, and what we need to cultivate well, is conditional love.  A sample:
conditions are precisely why we love someone: that they have certain qualities, and not others. It is the specifics - of their life and psyche - that make the love what it is. We need, not unconditional love, but judicious, honest, hard-working love - love that creates and appreciates conditions, instead of purporting to dismiss them.
Speaking of lasting love, and its labours: it's Ruth's birthday today. Huzzah!

It began with a cup of tea in bed, followed by gifts and hand-drawn cards from the kids (hopping madly).  Then more gifts from yours truly, and a small poem. (Doggerel: the gift that keeps on giving... laughter.)

After breakfast (which may've included hundreds 'n' thousands on toast), Ruth meandered off to a café with her pen, notebook and new Noodler's Black Swan on Australian Rose ink, while I cleaned and washed up.

Now for a romantic lunch, with only the two of us... and two children still hopping and chattering about Ewoks.

Happy birthday, my love, and thank you for our full catastrophe.

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