The art of Intimacy
By: Marjory Mejia
“Millions of people are suffering: they want to be loved but they don’t know how to love. And love cannot exist as a monologue; it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue.” ~ Osho
Indeed, we thrive when we experience a dialogue with all life. This dialogue is an exchange, enlivened by intimacy, the kind that fills you with trust, curiosity and real engagement. A certain intimacy with the objects that surrounds us, the people we come into contact with, the art we create, the gifts we explore and the spaces we inhabit. Our relationships extend beyond our interactions with people. We have relationships with spirit, soul, objects, spaces, art, nature and life itself.
What are the conditions that foster intimacy? A willingness to explore, to discover, to breathe fully. Like water, like air, like sunlight. Intimate spaces: organic, warm, inviting, welcoming, nourishing, wild. Mindful relationships with the myriad manifestations of life revealed in the every day, the sacred pulsing in the mundane. Here is the quote from my last post introducing my take on wabi-sabi to you, from a beautiful book I treasure, Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren:
“Things wabi-sabi..beckon: get close, touch, relate. They inspire a reduction of the psychic distance between one thing and another thing; between people and things.” ~ Wabi-Sabi
A sense of intimacy beckons us to bridge the gap that separate us, to illuminate the space between us, soften our gaze and integrate. What if that which we label as ugly, difficult, and unbearable had something to say? Make space for deep listening. Yesterday, I saw a film with good efforts to take the point of view of plants. However, I was not pleased when Pollan, the author of the book (The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World) that this film is based on, states that plants don’t have consciousness. They DO. Plants have consciousness and it is time we listen and receive their teachings of love.
The sense of hierarchy between observer and observed is obsolete. It doesn’t serve us anymore because it doesn’t reflect the richness of possible experience revealed in our daily interactions. We know that the observed is transformed by the gaze of the observer. What escapes us is the observer being transformed by the observed as well. When the rigid hierarchies and identities of observer and observed fall apart, when we surrender expectation and melt in a sea of awareness, what rises in the place of outgrown notions is the process of transformation and alchemy. Ultimately, the consciousness of life observes, experiences, embodies, transforms and realizes itself. We are all part of the web of life.
In the wild, all beautiful things perish. Intimacy demands that you witness the cycle of life fully, from seed, to sprout, to bloom, back to the earth. It is easy to become intimate with what we already love. What about becoming intimate with what we dislike and even fear, all that makes us uncomfortable.
“Wabi-Sabi represents the exact opposite of the Western ideal of great beauty as something monumental, spectacular, and enduring. Wabi-sabi is not found in nature at moments of bloom and lushness, but at moments of inception and subsiding. Wabi-sabi is not about gorgeous flowers, majestic trees, or bold landscapes. Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent..to experience wabi-sabi means you have to slow way down, be patient, and look very closely.” ~ Wabi-Sabi
Slow down, be patient, look very closely. This might elicit fear as we approach ideas of slowing down, aging, withering, our own mortality. I invite you to get closer to something that you neglected, ignored and did not regard as beautiful before. Open your mind. Open your heart. Be present. Take a good look around. What catches your attention? Get closer. Hold it. Behold it. Let it shine. Bathe in its light. Let love flow.
Experience intimacy. If you allow this ancient air to fill you with inspiration, you might experience a beauty never seen before,
“…an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.” ~ Wabi-Sabi
May your days be filled with poetry and grace and the flow of true intimacy and mystery dancing between us. How do you feel when someone or something looks into your soul? That is intimacy. Feel it. Revel in it. To see and be seen is a gift.
“When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
To all our relations. With love,