Desire is the supreme emotion. Not just the driving force for intimate love and sex, that turbulence in the stream of life; but more significantly as the general pulse of the river, the stimulator that takes us forward rather than leaves us idling around in a still water pool.
Putting aside the river metaphor, I am writing about the desire to go on journeys, to climb mountains, to tell stories, to win in a game, to matriculate, to graduate, to compose, to perform, to be loved. You see it in children when they first try to walk, when they want to learn to ride a bike, to bowl a good ball, to kick a goal, to master a new skill, to show off. You see it in the teens in the desire to fit in, to be accepted in the ‘club’, to impress with dress, to be ‘cool’. You see it in adults, in parenting, in business, in commerce, art, and sport. And you see it at its worse in the pursuit of wealth, in the grab for power; and in the collective world where clans, armies, nations, super powers, plunge into the malicious world of invasion, capture and conquest.
We are all at it, or part of it. We are all interwoven into the fabric of it. Without desire we age, we are in decline, we stumble, we lose focus. So like my wife with her dementia. She has no purpose, just the routine of eat, sit, watch, listen, sleep. There is no more a desire to inquire, to cook, to sew, to draw, to paint, to garden, to travel, to research family history, to lead walks with friends, to share a bed with me, to be cuddled and kissed. Without desire she is sadly no longer ……… herself. No longer Dorothy – the woman I loved and married, the mother of our children, the carer, the life companion, the soul mate.