Sunday, February 13, 2011

a discourse on intimacy...

 Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book , 'Committed'...
"We yearn for private intimacy even though it's emotionally risky. We yearn for private intimacy even when we suck at it...We yearn for private intimacy even when we are told that we should yearn for something else, something finer, something nobler. We just keep on yearning for private intimacy, and for our own deeply personal set of reasons. Nobody has ever been able to completely sort out that mystery, and nobody has ever been able to stop us from wanting it."
It is innate, this need. I believe, above all else, we need intimacy, we crave it, we have an intrinsic need to be known and understood and for many, this need outweighs all others. To simply exist in the world without deeply sharing with another is unfathomable to me. We can truly feel we know ourselves so completely but we have that desire to have that special someone know us just as completely. Someone that knows us in all of our earthly, soulful and spiritual glory. This speaks of true intimacy.

I first learned of something called 'split aparts' or twin souls in college while taking a Philosophy of Religion course taught by a wonderful teacher and priest. I loved this course immensely.  It was truly fascinating and birthed my love of all things mystical and philosophical.  Anyway, getting back to this ancient theory. Here, it begins with Plato, from his Symposium, though the essence of this theory has been seen throughout all of history. Here is a quote from Plato.

 “And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself,
the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and
one will not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment.”

~ Plato

2,500 years ago
Throughout our lives, relationships can come close to meeting this intimacy level, but somehow fall short, whether through our own failure, our beloveds failure or clearly a combination of both or simply our fate has not yet been graced with this explicit soul.   I believe that as we evolve we come closer to meeting this IDEAL within ourselves and within the other. The ideal love, the ideal mix of two, made into One. Not everyone has this requirement nor gives it much thought. However,  many, especially those spiritually and mystically inclined crave this after they've done the work of living, loving and not having relationships measure up. On rare occasions the very young can find this ideal early on, but I have witnessed repeatedly, this ideal making its appearance later in life. To be clear, some people never find their ultimate soul mate in this lifetime. Some believe that their twin soul can exist in the ethereal plane yet the connection is as real as if they were here (but that is another story).
No one should ever give up this dream of sharing the truest intimacy with a beloved. This exists if we open our hearts and souls to the ideal, as well as, the reality. I feel we can find practical, companionship type, mutually respectful relationships, but they may be lacking in the passionate, romantic sense; in that deep soulful way. I also feel that at different points in our lives we may find ourselves experiencing exactly that; the companionship type of love, but underneath it all, can be a LONGING ~ that ancient need to meet our truest beloved possible. Maybe God did create us in this manner. Maybe this idea of an androgynous soul blended with female/male, yin/yang nuances; destined to come together, is our Reality? That one day or lifetime for that matter, after working out our individual balancing of male/female energies, as well as, reaching a certain evolutionary level or level of enlightenment, we are then finally 'complete' enough in our Selves to meet our other half; who has also done the same work.
There are so many variations on the theory of twin souls  but its essence is that we will always have this DESIRE to reunite with our other-half, that we will finally become whole and experience the most beautiful, sacred kind of romantic love that exists.  
It wasn't simply Plato who wrote on the subject, Edgar Cayce did, the Sufi mystic poets, Hafiz, Rumi and Persian mystic, Khalil Gibran. If my memory is correct, Walt Whitman and Emerson had as well. Either way, it is a fairly well-known concept. When I think of this and believe me I spent much time reading up on the subject, I realized that this 'theory' can put us into a place of severe, perpetual longing with no manifestation of said twin soul in sight. That is not a good thing. Sure, we can share intimacy with one to whom is not necessarily our truest soul mate, or mirror-image, or shares with us an equal energetic/spiritual vibration but there is that all-consuming, compelling nature or idea of meeting one who IS our true other-half or split apart as Plato had termed it, and that can be overwhelming.

An anonymous quote found via the compelling book I'm reading titled: 'The Meaning of Mary Magdalene' by Cynthia Bourgeault, speaks of this kind of love:  "True love is a transforming force and is really the birth-pangs of a union on a higher plane."

This *union* on a higher plane is said to be a true conscious love, the most intimate of soul connections. I completely resonate with the use of the word *pangs* ...for this is exactly what this NEED feels like. 

This love, also written about in the 'Song of Songs' '...which has been, and will always be interpreted differently, depending on what an individual perceives as its true message.  This poem or song, from the Old Testament  is incredibly beautiful and even erotic. Having been written so long ago, testifies to the fact that this "LOVE";  this intimacy of joining and connection, has been around 
F O R E V E R  and will remain as such, whether taken to describe love of God or love of the beloved, it matters not. 
Here's a  passage: 

"Place me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal on your arm.
Strong as Death is love;
intense as Sheol is its ardor.
Its shafts are shafts of fire,
flames of Yah.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor rivers sweep it away."

*Yah (Yahweh) means Holy Love

More love quotes:

"The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at times almost insupportable. " -Victor Hugo

Can you tell I have LOVE on my mind? and it has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, it is simply the nature of life and my most treasured of topics. 
And,  excuse my tangent, this is what I originally  came here to post.

Unspoken affections
cloaked in Winter's white

though time is nearing; tis' almost ripe!

this dialogue of want between
intimate souls
a lifetimes affliction? or
the most sublime of woes?

© 2011

More lovely quotes:

"Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; and all the things I want to say can find no voice. Then, in silence, I can only hope my eyes will speak my heart." - Robert Sexton
"We are all born for love... it is the principle existence and its only end."
- Benjamin Disraeli

It's obvious this topic of intimacy, love, soul mates and twin souls, could go on indefinitely, but I'll let it rest...for now ;) 
I hope you all have a most beautiful and loving Valentine's Day ~ Make CUPID proud! :)

image source: Lovers Embrace by Henry Asencio

Until next time...

Life, Pulse and Home...Life Pulse OF Home...


11 x 14 mixed media on watercolour paper

I have been going with the flow working on the Pulse series (above) and with very cool ideas popping into my head for future pieces. I say 'future' because I need to be able to utilize my outside studio that still needs winterizing. Awhile back, I took over the third bedroom upstairs. It's a cute space that I re-did  before Thanksgiving simply using what we already had, but it is far too small for any serious getting-down-to-it-creating.  Some pics far,  far below...

her cross to bear ~ 11 x 14 mixed media on watercolour paper 

There is a silver lining ~ 11 x14 mixed media on watercolour paper
* these are not photographing very well...please forgive.

These paintings for me are an exercise in letting go...just allowing myself to create from an unknown place, again with no intended result, other than they 'resemble' the original pieces in the Pulse series. So many times, I find myself overwhelmed with a desire to answer something, to find the essence of what it is that I am doing and why and for whom etc etc...The words do not come easily. 
I am trying to depict, above all, E M O T I O N S. This is probably true for most artists.  Feelings and emotions are what drive me forward, and yes,  I know we women have that innate tendency to be emotional, I get it, but for very good reasons. We are emotional creatures, but we are also very powerful creatures and that also needs expression.  

Now onto my home photos...Wish I could show you the before pictures, but trust me, my old emerald green carpet in the living room, you DO NOT want to see...

These are a few charming landscape paintings I bought at an antique shop. The globe was my brothers growing up and the globe kept slipping out of the floor stand so I hung it from the ceiling with twine.  
The corner of the library/indoor studio/office above...and some mini-scapes city/or landscape, whichever way you view them :)

This will be my new studio once it's finally winterized, hopefully, early summer this will be completed. It's a great size and attached to my garage. I'm not sure if I will keep it rustic looking or spruce it up and go for that 'industrial' gallery look that I like so much. I do know that it could use some skylights and a good old-fashioned cleaning ;)

Living room After ~That little blur at the bottom of the photo is Oliver ;) He's appearing like an apparition ;) and he's exactly the reason I have my sofa seats covered, that and because I have kids ;)

I am planning on refinishing or selling the french country tables. I've had them for years...Not sure what style I'm going for next but there are sooo many to choose from. I don't want matching pieces. I love incorporating different styles. It appeals to my bohemian side.  Note: If you look up toward the ceiling beam you can see the striping affect and how it looks in different lighting. A great trick when your home is lacking in architectural things like crown moulding etc or needs some added dimension. An added bonus is that the vertical stripes make the ceiling and walls appear taller.

To the left is that table I may have posted before. It needs refinishing but I absolutely love it, especially the legs. 

my fave new oil-rubbed bronze floor lamp and my gorgeous new custom craftsman style door...that also needs the outer trim installed...I will have to dig up another shot or two of the door to better see it. I did all the staining myself and I chose a b e a u t i f u l dental shelf on the outside of the door. All done in english walnut.  I am in love with my door!!

do you think I'm making my point? LOL~  I am the Queen of My Abode! HaHa

This is the crown I mentioned last summer that I bought in Vermont.

I found these frames ages ago antiquing and they ARE old. The outer frame is HUGE (I paid $1 for it) ~ I left them exactly as I found them.  They're in my bedroom. As you can see I'm still choosing the right colour for this room, going on 4 1/2 years now  ;) 

 ...the beads on the table are an oversized rosary my BFF brought me from Mexico,  truthfully, New Mexico and it came with a pink plastic Jesus so I removed him. I just couldn't look at  his likeness molded in such cheap plastic. I am waiting on a new giant rosary from Mexico, this time around.  Did I ever mention how much I LOVE religious history, art and artifacts?...I really do, even though I do not consider myself religious.

My Tiger Chairs

This is the striping affect I achieved in my living room re-do. They're 10 inch stripes that alternate between flat and glossy paint in the same colour. The
 color is Mayonnaise by Benjamin Moore ( a completely unglamorous name for a paint colour  huh?). I also painted and distressed my oak wainscoting. I like the mix (could have used the word juxtaposition but I won't ;) of the more rustic finish on the wainscoting with the striping, which is more classic. I am still waiting on the quarter round trim at the bottom to be installed. When you remodel an older home you find lots of tricky things like unlevel flooring or walls or both and outdated popcorn ceilings...ugh, but just pretend you don't see them, that's what I do! ...And, of course, I have more to do like change out the ceiling fixtures. I'm thinking ceiling medallions with some chandeliers? maybe?...It is never ending. 

So this is my life as I know it ~ everchanging,  evergrowing,  everevolving... Thanks for visiting!

*note: this was originally set to post on January 28th...boy did I get sidetracked ;)