Ramblings on intimacy

Intimacy is not easy. It is not a feather flying on the wind. Intimacy is more like an ox plowing a field.

In general, it is easier to not be intimate, to not require things of others or allow requirements to be put upon the self; that is why the first flush of friendship or love appears light and freeing- there are no burdens to bear for each other. When a relationship is new, those that are in it are like wanderers who meet upon the road. There isn’t anything that they must carry for one another, as they have just met, and wouldn’t presume to give their hardships to a virtual stranger- thus, all that exists is the simple joy of piecing through the other’s baggage, playing at show and tell, bringing out the best treasures, learning what is inside the more glamorous packages. If the relationship is to continue, eventually the two travelers must get up and move on together; moving together, as a team, they will have to acknowledge and deal with the full load that the other carries. It cannot be avoided.

We may not realize that no matter how lightly we tread when first relating to a new person, eventually our interactions will pile up, multiply, and create the heft of living in relationship. Eventually, there will be requirements. Difficult things will be asked for. Expectations and obligations, often both joyful and painful, will sprout. On a long journey, we may be asked to shoulder things that are cumbersome, awkward, or downright maddening.

Intimacy is heavier than most of us would like it to be.

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