Intimacy

Greetings, in an effort I am making to “make sense”… I have been encouraged to chronicle the benefits of my experiences to investigate personal meanings.  That might not make sense.  Suffice it to say that I am plunging into the world of my recent past in an attempt to discover how it has changed me.  A working title might be “Intolerable Vulnerabilities,” (a phrase lent me by my mental physician) and its subject is yet to be defined…but here are the beginnings of an intro…

Intimacy - Amy Bloom

 

The hesitant beginning…

” Most all of us have been caught up in the proverbial “throes of love.”  The ecstasy and heartache of opening oneself to another, being enraptured, plagued with doubt and hope, captive to longing and the myopia of the significance of the beloved.  But perhaps less of us experience intimacy.  Intimacy may be something quite different from love.  Although usually initiated in its atmosphere, intimacy reaches beyond the experience of love and journeys toward closeness.  Intimacy is about the intertwining of lives, the multiform intricacies of barely-boundaried involvement.  What occurs when lives are meshed and melded – shaped with and around one another – physically and immaterially, actually and theoretically, imaginatively and really.  Where histories are remade and revamped together in a present.  Where hopes are remade and reshaped as a couple.  Where the unit and body that counts as an “I” extends to a “we,” and sensation, perception and thought happen always with an external mirror.

Where intimacy takes us is awesome.  I mean this in the most fearsome and incredible ways.  Human closeness is fraught with archetypal danger.  When exposed in such nearness, our lives seem at stake.   It goes to the “heart of us.”  Within the weathers of love, the wedded experience that intimacy brings seems to make us or break us – our futures and fortunes, significance and meaning rise or fall in accord with an Other.  We, in ways, “are not our own” but become something new, something larger and fresh.  Something open, extended and possible.  Something at risk, distended, and vulnerable.  Our lives shared in the hands of another.  Our minds shaped with the mind of another.  Our purposes, intentions and behavior ever effecting conjoined scenarios.  The world is different.  Intimate.  Involved.  Precious and fragile.

There are (at least) two sides to the story…a territory of doubled strength and minimal safety.  Of terrifying exposure and (possibly) multiplied protection.  Of enhanced security and absolute danger.  This is the province of love.  This is the prospect of intimacy.”

Love - John Armstrong

 

-John Armstrong, The Conditions of Love

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"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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