Amatory movement

She

turns words

loose in me

gentle soft travelers

sent across all of her

being in deep amatory

movement wandering

her sweet configurations

in velvet darkness

feather tasting

undulating shapes

I’d believe

unreal if

I wasn’t

awake.

 

************

for a dream

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Beware the distance makers

You reach a point in life, I have, where you just say straight out what it is you have to say, response be damned.  I do know what I want to say here, I only hope I am able to say it.  Let me start with this. When life inflicts pain on me to the point it buckles my emotional-knees and takes air from the room it is not lost on me that I have the power to leave this life if and when I choose. It is not a top-of-the-list choice for me, but it’s one I’m acutely aware of and, at times hold fast to. Sometimes enough  is really enough.

Some years ago a close friend of mine, a woman who faced a challenge with weight, told me some of those who put on too much weight do so to protect themselves, to keep others at a distance. Over the years I’ve recognized a plethora of habits and behavioral idiosyncrasies in people, behaviors, that do exactly that.  I call them distance makers.

It is unlikely I am saying something you don’t already know when I say intimacy can be scary. It can feel, for very real reasons were one privy to the details of someone’s history, life threatening. So, believe me, it is not as if I don’t understand the existence and need for distance makers. I have enormous compassion for those whose distance makers protect them (or so they believe) on the one hand, yet rob them of much of the life experience they deserve to have on the other. A closer examination reveals yet another prevalent pattern when it comes to distance makers. The distance makers that  applied yesterday may not apply today. In fact, what once protected you in life may now pulverize your life and, not at all incidentally, pulverize the lives of others. In one of his letters John Steinbeck wrote, “We’re creatures of habit, a very senseless species.” He was right.

Distance makers are like anything else, there are healthy and unhealthy ones. Principles come to mind. People espousing racism and other forms of bigotry are not going to be found in my personal life. Nor are those who are active alcoholics, addicts, people who are violent (emotionally or physically), and so forth.  But then there are the unhealthy distance makers rooted so deep in the fear of loss or fear of being hurt – physically abused, raped, shot, stabbed, assaulted – again! that we miss the mark and drive off the very people who love us the most.

I’ve seen friendships, relationships, and marriages shattered to pieces by distance makers. Like anyone my age, I’m 60, I’ve experienced my fair share of loss. Losing someone I love from my life immobilizes me more than anything else I think. Takes the air out of the day. When someone I love dies, I swear to God there is less sun in the sky for a time. Sometimes I think the sun itself is mourning. Losing someone I love as a result of unhealthy distance makers is brutal; the word pain doesn’t come close to covering it.

Beware the distance makers, they may rob you of the life you want and deserve to have. Getting back up gets harder not easier over time, at least it gets harder for me.

LOVE AND HEALING FROM FEAR

Love. Is it the all too elusive nectar for the human soul? The base alloy of real human intimacy? The spiritual adhesive that joins lives with indelible bonds? Or, is it all of these combined and even more that rests out of the reach of words, at least out of reach of any words penned by this writer?

I do not pretend to know the answer, at least not in its entirety. I do know love is an overused word that is all too often said as ploy to get something from another human being. As a result, those who use the word love with sincerity and devotion are often not heard and not believed.

In some romantic unions, things have evolved to a place or, in some instances, always were in a place where each nothing more than a tenant in the other person’s life. In a recent blog piece I wrote about the distinction between a strategic exchange relationship and a communal relationship. The former is a relationship in which one person is seeking to get something or give something to the other in part by convincing them that the relationship is based on true intimacy. These are the relationships that dry up and grow brittle from lack of nutrition and either come to a painful end, or condemn the two people to an unhappy life because both are two afraid to claim their independence and by doing so reclaim their lives and thus reclaim themselves.

The communal relationship is the kind of relationship so many in their hearts honestly want, It is a relationship where there is real spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy. These relationships last because they have the nutrition of real love and thus real intimacy, and there is no better nutrition than that duo, at least not in this writer’s view.

But what of those who really do love someone and know they are loved in return, but cannot find a way to allow the experience, even though it is an experience the truly want and deserve? What then? I don’t know.

I don’t know how to help anyone discover they have a right to fully love and fully be loved. I don’t know how to help someone take decision making power away from their history, for it is there that the damage was done, it was there that the pain was inflicted, and it was there that the seeds of fear were sown.

What I do know about fear is that the only way to get free of it is to allow yourself to go through it. It is okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you. And if the experience of loving someone and being loved by someone is there for you, can there be a more powerful medicine for healing from fear?

Love. There is nothing more beautiful and, if allowed its life, nothing more majestic, more nutritious and more powerful. This I believe. And I believe it with all my heart.
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FEAR OF INTIMACY

Fear of intimacy is an epidemic in my culture. This fear, this unkind barrier to people fully loving each other, robs so many people of the relationships they deserve – and want.

To my mind, there are three primary forms of intimacy: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

There are numerous essays and articles on the net talking about communal relationships as opposed to exchange relationships, or, as one article I ran across calls the latter, strategic exchange relationships. This latter form of relationship is highly problematic if your goal is to be in a loving intimate relationship with someone and not simply use someone for sexual or material gain.

While it seems to me the strategic exchange relationship is by far the most common relationship we see, I believe most people honestly and honorably want the communal relationship.

As I understand it, the strategic exchange relationship is a relationship where one person is seeking to get something or give something to the other in part by convincing them that the relationship is based on true intimacy. To my mind, this pattern of manipulative behavior can be driven by the subconscious as well as the conscious. According to more than one source, strategic exchange relationships are rather brittle and likely to break apart and come to an end when disagreements and differences arise.

Communal relationships, the truly emotionally, physically, and spiritually intimate relationships, are the durable ones. These relationships are far more likely to weather the storms. Their foundations are not so apt to be fractured and damaged by disagreements, differing views, and the traumas life dishes out to us all. Why? Because there is trust. There is a belief that each is their with the other person’s best interest at heart. There is a belief that neither would knowingly do nor say anything to wound or damage the other. This type of bond does not exist in the exchange relationships.

But why the exchange relationships in the first place? Why the fear of intimacy? Why the fear to trust? These fears arrive in our lives for real reasons: past wounds, betrayals, abuse of all kinds endured as children, or adults for that matter.

In other words, it’s our histories. Components of our histories provide the biggest obstacles to our ever realizing the kind of communal relationships so many deeply and sincerely long for.

So, here’s a thought to take with you. Who deserves to be in charge of your ability to be in the kind of communal relationship your heart desires? You or your history? I say, you.

The thing is, when the fear arrives, when your history raises its hideous head in an attempt to derail you, talk to the person you are with about your fears. If they listen, you are in good stead. One other thing, let them talk, and when they do, listen to them. Listen to each other; don’t judge each other.

And for god sakes, don’t forget to hold each other.

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