Knowing the Unknowable..Intimacy, reflection prompted by Quay 63, On the Heath

Earlier today, I did a post on how valuable it is to us as writers, as people, to learn from what others share. It is the value of a personal, real-world writers group, which I tend to talk about a lot. It is also the value of the online community of writers of which we are all a part.  Reblogging can be meaningful.  Today I reblogged something from Chalkboard Quotes, and wrote a reflection prompted by it about parenting, having to learn to parent adults.  It gave me some real insight. Afterward, I posted one of my poems that I was able to relate to in a slightly different way now.

Now I have read another post from blogger On the Heath.  I have reblogged his poem here for two reasons.  First, I like this poem very much.  I like the way, that for me as a reader,  it captures a moment and in doing so, captures so much more about expectations of people who love one another. Second, it prompted a reflection on the tension between oneness and the desire to completely know the other in an intimate relationship.  The impossibility of totally “knowing” another person, no matter how much we love them.  At least, that is what I have found over time. When we are young and very much in love, we tend to believe that real love means that we will be able to understand the entire person of the lover, the sum total that life has made them.  We also assume that they will be able to do the same with us. Sometimes, when we realize that we are not able to do that, we can believe our love is not “real” or that the lover doesn’t really care to share himself/herself totally with us.  Or that they are deliberately  choosing to alienate us. Or that they don’t understand us because they don’t care enough to try And on and on. And actually all those things are possibilities. Some relationships should end. Then, there is the other serious issue of how much must we know of another person to discover if they are people who are absolutely toxic to us.  Real and intimate knowledge of a person we love is crucial to each of us for countless reasons, not just of the heart.

When we are young, I think, we navigate love without a compass. I expect that time is the compass. People fall in and out of love for many reasons. I think that sometimes we expect the impossible.  People who can accept the impossibility of  the complete knowing of another can over time find a deeper love by accepting that each of them is a whole person, an individual. It is an irony that in accepting the complexities of intimacy and otherness,  we actually will be able to know one another more fully.

Will every person agree with my personal feelings about this issue? Of course not! I know I probably have offended those who believe in soul mates. In general, I do not.  However, although very rare, I have seen some very enduring, loving relationships that persuade me to consider it. After all, we are never, ever totally finished with the education that loving others provides us.

In a much lighter way, I wrote a poem recently that deals with my own beliefs about the interweaving of  each other’s identity in a relationship that works. It was very fun to write.  Maybe there can be wisdom in whimsy.  I remembered it as I wrote this reflection. It’s entitled Jigsaw Afternoon, and I’m posting it next.  I hope you enjoy it.

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