We hike to the lip of the waterpocket fold, a hundred-mile-long
gash in the earth’s crust, the rocks on one side lifted seven thousand feet higher than the other. It is dry, beautiful, alien. But by
the end of the fifteen miles, I trail behind her and my husband,
in so much pain I am crying. It’s because of the pounding, she says.
These are not the soft soil trails of the forest. Everything is rock.
She is where I would like to be. I do not mean that she is
there. I mean that she is this thing: a sun-warmed rock next to a
rushing stream — a rejuvenating combination of sunlight, stone,
and water. When I travel, I seek out these things. Likewise, she is
where my mind goes when it decides to wander.
constant thought about the object of desire is a common
sign of romantic love, as are a need for proximity and physical contact, despair at separation, elation when the object of desire gives
you attention, and a tremendous awareness and understanding of
the partner’s moods. But in the article “What Does Sexual Orientation Orient?” Lisa Diamond points out that these feelings and behaviors also characterize the infant-caregiver bond. And who has
not heard a new mother comment that she is totally “in love” with
her child? Although we may not remember it, we were in love with
our parents, too, during the first year or so of our lives.
The mistake most of us make is to assume romantic love evolved
to ensure that mammalian mothers and fathers stuck together to
raise their highly dependent young and, thus, that it occurs in con-
cert with sexual desire, and is only legitimate when directed toward
the opposite sex. But it’s likely that romantic love between adults
is what’s known as an exaptation, a trait evolved for one reason
but co-opted for something else. Here’s why: from an evolutionary
standpoint, long before there was “mating for life” there was the
necessity for a mother to bond with her child—creating a totally
physical, totally loving, but totally asexual relationship between
her and either a daughter or son. The point here, as Lisa Diamond
puts it, is that “romantic love and sexual desire are functionally
independent,” and “love knows no gender.” In fact, humans may
be biologically predisposed to experience romantic friendship.
the unIversIty of oregon website that divided humanity
into two undeniable (but unstated) groups gave this definition
for metamorphism: rocks that have “moved into an environment
in which the minerals which make up the rock become unstable
and out of equilibrium with the new environmental conditions.”
So metamorphism is situation-dependent. It’s the process of adjusting to some kind of change, usually caused by increased temperature or pressure. Above 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees
Fahrenheit) rocks begin to recrystallize. Whatever elements are
available in the original rock will be broken down and recombined in a di=erent way, creating new minerals.