Intimacy: living inside out

To our good friends–

What is intimacy? I got the intimation (!) or inkling this morning that it is a stand-in word for something else and more diverse than this word, much like yesterday I realized trust is. We speak of intimacy with another and with G*d. We speak of sexual forms and spiritual and emotional. It seems to mean letting down shields, so it then means letting yourself flow out and letting others flow in. There is a mingling of essence, a mixture of skills and talents, probably also of shadows. There is an examination of shadows as well as lights. There is an uncovering of the covered, an unfolding of the folded—a ripping! There is a mutual discovery and exploration for discovery. There is a vulnerability exposed, not so much trusting but hoping the other will see and be gentle. There is in this vulnerability and intimacy an unknowing, and a gradual realization that each one is infinitely larger than we had supposed. There is also connection: a knowing. Knowing deeply. Knowing, being known, being recognized as person, as worthy of being known, of being valued.

Intimacy is all of these things, but rarely all at the same time. Is it a continuum? Is it wave or particle? Does it come and go? Is there a ridge between intimacy and non-intimacy? What would non-intimacy be? Hate? This might be a form of intimacy. Ignoring, looking through, I-It? If so, now that we’ve named It, what do we do about It, how do we recognize It?

What then is a good conversation? How much intimacy is best? Does a good conversation need to be about something that matters? I suspect we can have a good conversation about meaningless chit chat if that is what the persons need. There can be a connection there if all we need to do is share a good laugh or a piece of fluff. Yet I suspect even then we are trying to connect. We in effect say, “Hey, I’m a fun person, gentle, caring, someone you’d like to know.” My preference is for the ones which change things and change—open—rip—people. This seems to mean to seek out the shadow and especially the flash. The more the question matters—is live—the closer we get to the bone: the closer we get to intimacy, to living inside out: displaying to the world who we really are, playing with the world with our most real self. Truth and Beauty and Goodness merge in each person and we need all of us to get all the facets flashing. Intimately. Really.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on September 21st, 2006 | No Comments »

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