A Whirling Dervish

One of my former students once described me as being a cross between a whirling dervish and the Tasmanian Devil.  Since it was part of a student evaluation of my skills as a teacher I wasn’t privy to all of the details but I got the sense that it wasn’t supposed to be a compliment. The department chair said that I should be aware that my proclivity for movement could be distracting to some people.

I asked if he was trying to say that I was hyperactive and he laughed. “Jack, it is clear to me that you can quite capable of focusing your attention but sometimes energy radiates from you.

That made me laugh but I had to nod my head because it is a fair assessment. There are moments when I feel like little bolts of lightning are shooting from my fingertips. They are usually the same moments when I feel like I have ten thousand ideas that I want to express, each one of them fighting to get out at the same time.

I mention this only because the lovely Ann Stacey once remarked upon it. She watched me pace around a room and wondered aloud if there was anything that could make me stand still. I am not the type to kiss and tell but she did find a way make it happen and to this day I am not sure if she made her comment because she was flirting with me or what.

Or what.

Those two words summed a lot of things up for me. I used to think that I knew a lot about her. I used to think that I could come up with a reasonable prediction of what she would do in a given situation and or how she would respond. I think that she really appreciated that. Television and film like to portray women as being these lovely and inscrutable creatures that men can’t possibly understand but I haven’t ever believed that to be true.

Well, maybe just a little.

But I think that when it came to us my understanding of her is part of what made her fall for me. There were things that I just knew about her. I can’t tell you exactly how or why I knew these things but it was enough to catch her eye. I used to like to tease her about a million different things.

I remember her telling me that in every relationship one person tended to take control but that didn’t necessarily mean that things weren’t equal. So I told her that with me she wouldn’t have to worry about pretending to let me think that I was in control when she really was. She giggled a bit and I told her that I had busted her on that point.

Don’t remember if she actually acknowledged it out loud but we both understood and I think that we loved that understanding. It was stronger and deeper than anything we had ever experienced and now I was beginning to wonder if the raw power of that connection was something that withstood time. Were the promises we made years before things said in the throes of passion or were they more than that.

As a journalist we are trained to ask lots of questions and to dig for answers and information that lies beneath the surface. Even though this is a personal matter I couldn’t help but start thinking about this from a professional perspective.  What is love? What is the difference between being in love and loving something or someone? Does love die?

I know that I have seen a million different stories that suggest that the Internet has helped to break up and or cause major divisions in relationships but it doesn’t talk about the flip side. What has the Internet done to help reunite and or restore lost loves. Surely there are examples of this. There have to be stories about the lost loves who found each other. But what happened when they did.

I wonder.

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