In this piece of prose, I am expressing myself at a juncture in life, a collision of complex matters that are important to me right now, and causing me much emotional pain ~ love, Earth crisis, cancer.
I hope to explore the idea that some ambivalence, far from being malign in relationships (with humans, non humans, self and in our work ~ protecting the biosphere and machines), must be embraced as part of the process (fundamentally, I am a process philosopher). There would be a point where rejection and change is wise ~ letting go ~ but no relationship will ever be perfect.
Love, for instance, comes with a certain degree of hurt. It’s just the way things are. To reject love on the basis that it can cause any pain is unwise. To love is an ‘acceptance and commitment,’ taking the rough with the smooth. There is a tension between duty and true love and yet, to this day, duty is still celebrated as the honourable thing, much to love’s sacrifice and emotional wounds. Perfection is unattainable, but I also acknowledge there is a time to let go, and that has also happened in my life.
In the case of cancer, the body is well or not, sometimes in between. One might die, especially without help. But with help, one might not. An acceptance of the ambivalence is to live life each day regardless, acceptance brings darkness and light (light one might never expect).
As to Earth and the biosphere, and the crises upon all, that is my passion, to advocate for the love of life as an active ethic (Fluminism). Sometimes this passion causes me deep pain, sometimes joy. Any passion pursued is going to bring failure and success. And others who share my concerns will understand just how hard it can be. It doesn’t mean we simply give up at the first fall, nor the second. Nor third.
And the machines? There is good in some technology and bad in others. We don’t need to reject all machines, we can be ambivalent to a certain extent. But there are machines that save lives (CT Scanner), and there are others that take them (cars, roads, pollution). We need to make a choice as to which ones to accept and which to reject.
Sometimes, it is hard to accept the ambivalence ~ the good and bad in all things ~ including within my self, because the bad causes so much emotional pain. But I will try. Cancer has, at least, taught me that.
One thought on “Notes on ‘Trying for Ambivalence.’”
I found this piece and your notes very moving and extremely profound. I can’t pretend to understand it all but I know it comes from the heart as well as the head. I have not had cancer so cannot truly empathise there. But I have experienced the joys and pains of love and losing it. I hope things are turning out well for you, Ginny. Very best wishes, Mike
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