Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The pure relationship, how beautiful it is! How easily it is damaged, or weighed down with irrelevancies--not even irrelevancies, just life itself, the accumulations of life and of time. For the first part of every relationship is pure, whether it be with friend or lover, husband or child. It is pure, simple and unencumbered. It is like the artist's first version before he has to discipline it into form, or like the flower of love before it has ripened to the firm but heavy fruit of responsibility. Every relationship seems simple at its start. The simplicity of first love, or friendliness, the mutuality of first sympathy seems, at its initial appearance--even if merely in exciting conversation across a dinner table--to be a self-enclosed world. Two people listening to each other, two shells meeting each other, making one world between them. There is no others in the perfect unity of that instant, no other people or things or interests. It is free of ties or claims, unburdened by responsibilities, by worry about the future or debts to the past.

And then how swiftly, how inevitably the perfect unity is invaded; the relationship changes; it becomes complicated, encumbered by its contact with the world. I believe this is true in most relationships, with friends, with husband or wife, and with one's children. But it is in marriage relationship in which the changing pattern is shown up most clearly because it is the deepest one and the most arduous to maintain; and because, somehow, we mistakenly feel the failure to maintain its exact original pattern is tragedy.

It is true, of course, the original relationship is very beautiful. Its self-enclosed perfection wears the freshness of a spring morning. Forgetting about the summer to come, one often feels one would like to prolong the spring of early love, when two people stand as individuals, without past or future, facing each other. One resents any change, even though one knows that transformation is natural and part of the process of life and its evolution. Like its parallel in pysical passion, the early ecstatic stage of a relationship cannot continue always at the pitch of intensity. It moves to another phase of growth which one should not dread, but welcome as one welcomes summer after spring. But there is also a dead weight accumulation, a coating of false values, habits and burdens which blight life. It is this smothering coat that needs constantly to be stripped off, in life as well as in relationships.

Both men and women feel the change in the early relationship and hunger for nostalgically for its original pattern as life goes on and becomes more complicated. For evitably, as the relationship grows, both men and women, at least at some degree, are drawn into their more specialized and functional roles: man, into his less personal work in the world; woman, into her traditional obligations with family and household. In both fields, functional relationships tend to take the place of the early all-absorbing personal one...

But though both men and women are absorbed in their specialized roles and each misses something of the early relationship, there are great differences in their needs. While man, in his realm, has less chance for personal relations than woman, he may have more opportunity for giving himself creatively in work. Woman, on the other hand, has more chance for personal relations, but these do not give her a sense of her creative identity, the individual who has something of her own to say or to give. With each partner hungry for different reasons and each misunderstanding the other's needs, it is easy to fall apart or into late love affairs. The temptation is to blame the situation on the other person and to accept the easy solution that a new and more understanding partner will solve everything.

... But can the pure relationship of the sunrise shell be refound once it has become obscurred? Obviously some relationships cannot be recovered. It is not just a question of different needs to be understood and filled. In their changing roles the two patners may have grown in different directions or at a different rates of speed... It was an end in itself and not a foundation for a deeper relation. In a growing relationship, however, the original essence is not lost but merely buried under the impedimenta of life. The core of reality is still there and needs only to be uncovered and reaffirmed.

(if you don't like long blog, start here)
... Perhaps, as Auden says in his poem, this is a fundamental error in mankind.

For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

"It is alright to wish to be loved alone," he said, "mutuality is the essence of love. There cannot be others in mutuality. It is the time-sense that it is wrong. It is when we desire continuity of being loved alone that we go wrong." For not only do we insist on believing romantically in the "one-and-only"--the one-and-only love, the one-and-only mate, the one-and-only mother, the one-and-only security--we wish that "one-and-only" to be permanent, ever present and continuous. The desire of being-loved-alone seems to me "the error bred in the bone" of man.

from the book Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
as in any relationships, we as a person too need some time alone. that in quiet place we may find ourselves once again. may you find that secret place before the year end that you may embrace all relationships in its purest form in the year ahead.

I remember i once said to you that with all i have, i want to see the image of Christ in you. to see the beauty and the glory of God formed in you. today, i want to renew that promise to you. for it is an eternal promise.


Anonymous said...

haha you read the book! nice right ;p

TheDugong said...


cant take it.. so long!! haha.. btw, when we meet, i wanna hear about your year le!! long time never have lmc dee!! Long Meaningful Conversation.. haha