Part of what makes life so beautiful and so dramatic at the same time is the sort of delicate dances we must dance. We are paradoxical creatures in many ways. One of those ways is the fact that we are constantly torn between being authentic to ourselves and also loving and responsible with others, in that we deeply long for intimacy and love and yet at the same time that we are really only in control over ourselves, and the resulting dynamic often leads to grave insecurity and oscillation between control and neglect, when a healthy maintenance of contact and intimacy that recognizes both shared space as well as private space is vital (if difficult to manage).
I really dislike the immense distance between myself and my family. I do not speak merely of geographical distance, though it would be difficult to be further away from my family geographically unless I received a posting on the International Space Station or a lunar colony. The geographical distance is not a problem, but rather it is the emotional distance that I find far more troubling. After all, I speak as someone who wants to find a lovely young woman to court, and marry, and start a family with sometime (and not terribly far in the future either–it’s part of the five year plan, at least). I am well aware that unless I develop some better skills in interpersonal communication than I am tempting a repeat of the family cycles of silence and violence that I dislike so much. Dislike of a problem is not enough to solve it; one needs solutions and strategies, and a lot of practice. I’m working on the practice part.
We cannot solve the difficulties and problems of others. We can only wrestle with our own demons and give encouragement to others as they wrestle with them, and between those tasks we have enough to do without adding to anyone else’s burden in life. It is not coincidental that dancing is something I greatly enjoy. After all, in a dance (particularly those slower dance I appreciate more) you get the hang of moving in harmony with a friendly partner and the shared movement helps encourage friendly conversation. Much of my best conversation with others is more of a dance than it is a lecture, even if I am a rather talkative person, because it is not merely what I have to say that matters, but the whole context of mutual sharing of thoughts and ideas and experiences in a context of safety and trust.
It just so happens that my “home” city, Tampa, just got hit with a tropical storm that caused some serious mayhem. Even though it was only a tropical storm, reading stories about dead manatee mothers, flooded roads and bridges, and massive amounts of tornadoes is not something that you want to deal with from far away without having close communication with loved ones. I would like my family and friends to know that as far away as I am that I still am concerned about their well being, even if reliable and detailed news is hard to find. Certainly I do not mind giving updates on what is going on in my life, even if there are delicate dances where not much can be said because so much is still uncertain.
Delicate dances are what makes life fun. Handling them will brings confidence in one’s ability to cope with life’s ups and downs, and gives practice in treating others with love and respect and receiving them in return. We all could use experience in treating others with respect as well as learning how to recognize and appreciate it as well. After all, life is too short to spend in fear of abandonment or trying to micromanage others. We ought to wish to be competent people and to have competent people in our life, and treat them like the competent people they are while they return the favor. I want the sort of people in my life where the delicate dance is enjoyable not only for now but for as long as I draw breath on this earth, or in the lunar colony, or wherever. Doesn’t everyone else want that too?