Thursday, January 24, 2008

No title.

People don't normally reveal the part of themselves which is capable of falling in love. In most of our relationships, including our close friendships, interactions remain on the level of 'polite society'. Affection, passion, vulnerability, cherishing, delight, and desire are carefully filtered out of life. Functionally, they have no great value; and professionally they are nothing but dangers.

A great invisible wall seems to separate everybody, from each other and from myself. It is a wall ostensibly known as decorum, but sometimes it feels more like an intense and irrational terror of interpersonal risks. The obligation to avoid scandal and embarrassment reigns supreme; the wish to build interpersonal connections into something beautiful has been locked in the dungeon. The absence of intimacy is a small price to pay for the gaurantee of security. Lonliness kills more slowly and less dramatically than betrayal.

I've often wondered about the deepest of human desires. In a melancholy mood, I am inclined to believe that nothing is more fundamental than the wish to return to a womb-like existence. At other times I have believed that it is the feeling of being welcomed and unconditionally valued. Perhaps even deeper than the latter is the desire to be understood; to experience another who is not a stranger to my thoughts and the movements of my heart. In a way, the feeling of being understood by another abolishes the last and most impenetrable stronghold of lonliness: my interiority.

But this is taboo. All too quickly, when intimacy threatens, levity comes and saves the day; superficiality turns on the light; irony reminds us of the banality and simplicity of our task-oriented lives. The wall is up again, and we are safely alone with our atomistic interiorities. It is the cold flourescent light of a cubicle-divided office.

4 comments:

Lisa said...

nice! dang you can write well! Now, I didnt know about half of the vocabulary in there, but I still loved it! "Loneliness kills more slowly and less dramatically than betrayal" is my new favorite quote. :)

Br. Thomas said...

Relational ontology. Love. Community/Spouse. Christ is everyone.

J said...

...rather than to simply (or not so simply) type-out a journal-entry-type response to your moving post, I'll just offer my gratitude. I will carry phrase fragments of your latest writing with me in my pockets and wonder about them as I carry on with common tasks. I will concentrate on the intimacy I desire to have with Christ, and how inklings of that closeness are found in relationships with my friends. I will offer another prayer for you, Jeff, and hope that our merciful God might touch your heart as it comes to beat in time with His.
( I continue to amaze at the theologians who can turn a phrase as poets do.)

antonina said...

It is tedious creating and maintaining one's image. Not only tedious, but also considerably boring...

A thousand and one fears extend from each one of us in all directions, stopping, pushing, screeching, grumbling, accusing, lying, twisting, creating a false reality for ourselves and those around us.

What is the worst possible thing that can happen if we blow down our walls? How different the world would be if everyone decided to stop spending their lives adoring and adorning their own image!

Perhaps we should all forget about who we think we are, or who we'd so love to be, and simply be nothing. The sort of nothing that comes upon you when you realize you are standing in God's Magnificent Presence.

Peace and all Good!