I particularly loved Walt Whitman: Oh, I would stake all for you.
and Emily Dickinson: Parting is all we need to know of Hell.
and Dr Fisher herself: Anthropologists have never found a society that did not have love.
And, Dr Fisher again, The brain system for focus, for wanting, for craving, for romantic love, becomes MORE active when you can’t get what you want.
Dr Fisher and her colleagues have made neurological studies of people who’d just fallen in love and people who’d just been dumped and they found the same brain centres were activated and the same brain chemical (dopamine) was ‘sprayed’ into other parts of the brain. This centre is also the place from which we take enormous risks for huge gains or huge losses … and in Dr Fisher’s opinion love is an addiction: a perfectly wonderful one when it’s going well and a perfectly horrible one when it’s going badly. But the thing that cheered me about all this is that when she was asked if all this knowledge had taken the romantic nature of love away, for her, she said it hadn’t: she said you can know all the ingredients of a chocolate cake and still, when you eat it, you can find yourself in heaven. Dr Fisher developed a personality test for chemistry.com based on our levels of dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and oestrogen: to tell us who we are and whom we should love!
She ends with:
Love is in us. It’s deeply embedded in the brain.
Our challenge is to understand each other.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
And the thing I’d like to be able to do, in a parallel world where time is infinite and all things are possible, is to make the promotional films and videos that Jim Burge makes. At Burgeoning Media they make videos for writers to publicise both the writer and the work; for artists, for gallery owners: they’ll even make a film of your wedding, should that be your heart’s desire.
The brilliant thing about Burgeoning Media is that they take the time and the trouble to find out about you and your work so when you find yourself in front of the camera (a terrifying experience for must of us) you look and sound as if you know what you’re talking about, and you sound spontaneous because you’re answering intelligent questions about your work, not spouting something you’ve learned by heart (which always sounds wooden). I’d love to be able to make such captivating films. Here’s the film Jim Burge made of me talking about The Dance of Love … if you want proof of his ability (it’s all his, I promise you, not mine).