A number of years ago I went to a gallery opening of a friend’s exhibition. As I walked through the gallery I alternated between the desire to share with a close friend my experience or to stand in silence to feel — such amazing work. Everything was so rich and full of life and love.
Most of the artist’s work was of nudes in a variety of media — her embrace of the human body and all of the nuances of life pouring through our limbs filled me beyond words. When I got half-way through the pictures I came to the section she had on couples and was brought to tears — no beautiful, hard-bodies here, no photographic likenesses, just reality.
There was one entitled “Beyond Home” done in red water color and blue ink — just sketchy lines and blurred edges outlining the forms of a man and woman lying crisscross upon each other, with arms and legs entwined.
The intimacy and familiarity of being with someone whose body is as known as your own stunned me. The view brought up a surge of memories of being with a loved one. Although his body wasn’t as familiar to me as my own, the sense of him, his energy was as familiar to me as my own. In that moment I realized how much I missed him.
The thing about being more present with oneself is that one can’t avoid being more present with others. Casual sex, what is that? Even with ‘affairs’ and ‘flings’ there is nothing casual about being present with oneself in the company of someone else. I feel like my skin is peeled off, and although I relish that sensation with myself, to be so present with someone else with my clothes off is well …. well, overwhelming to say the least.
This is the way I want to LIVE, it is LIVING. Every moment is an unknown, just our egos seeking to string things together to create meaning. I wonder if I will ever be able to embark on this aspect of the unknown with someone who is crazy and courageous enough to risk balancing on the edge?