”Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”
~ Khalil Gibran, The Prophet ♥
The Bear and I have taken two days away to spend together. We are staying at a renovated, arty farmhouse not too far away from where we live, but far enough away that we feel like it is.
We have walked together, eaten together, talked together, laughed together, watched a movie together, dined out together and loved together. We find that we actually really like each other 🙂
Within our togetherness, we also have made space for separateness. I have written, read, practiced yoga and meditated. He has…done whatever he does when he is by himself. We find that we also like being alone.
Over breakfast this morning I say:
You know, I think we just don’t do everyday life very well.
No one does he said.
No! I start to protest, and then realise – he’s right. That’s why there’s so many damn divorces. Negotiating the demands of everyday life, especially with small children but even without, is difficult, tedious and fraught with danger.
At the beginning of the year, the Bear and I were done. After exactly 14 years. We separated, putting physical space between us. And within that space, something came alive. That thing that we have always had. Connection, understanding, spark – Love.
Everyday life chokes the life out of love.
I said: I have so many demands on me. I am always needed for something.
He said: I can see that. It’s to do with expectations I think. I can cope with being last in line, but when it gets to my turn and there’s nothing left, I can’t help but be disappointed.
Some renovations are so big that it is impossible to live inside the house while they are done. You know? We still live separately – or rather, he has his space and I have mine – but we are more together than we have been in a long, long time.
For us, our relationship has benefited immeasurably from more space.
The other thing we do now that we forgot about, is to take regular time out of our regular lives, just us, and re-connect. We share the things we like to share – walking, nature, food, conversation, holding hands, hugging, kissing – and forget about that other stuff that we don’t share. Just for a while.
Because relationships get tattered with no time, and love gets choked out with no space.