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Showing posts from May, 2017

Village

"A good relationship is a village in which people share parts of themselves with various people and that doesn't mean sexual parts, it just means that there are numerous people that reflect back on you, your sense of self-worth, your value, how much you mean to them in their life, that you don't just exist for one person, and just not one person that is meant to make you feel like you matter; there is a community that makes you feel that you matter.... give up the model that one person will be there for everything."
Esther Perel, talking about relationships and infidelity on Dear Sugar Radio

Words

Every period of self-growth in my life has been accompanied by acquisition of a new (set of) vocabulary of self-identification... words to describe who I am, signposts to navigate the psychological landscape. Without the right qualifiers, important elements of identity remain a mysterious vague feeling, a nagging discomfort without validation, a muted voice. There is no liberation without the right words.

Fiction

'... a familiar, but also ridiculous, paradigm of marriage, one in which we collude in the fiction that no one of the opposite sex ever draws our interest.'
Susan Dominus, writes for NYT Magazine on open marriages

the most intoxicating other

“so often the most intoxicating other that people discover in the affair is not a new partner; it’s a new self.” [Esther Perel]

quoted by Susan Dominus in NYT Magazine

Dating is wasted on the young and the single

"Dating... is wasted on the young and the single. A young person in his 20s, unformed, skittish, goes out into the world and tries to fall in love, a project complicated by the bulky defenses that allow him to undertake so risky a venture in the first place. Now imagine that same person, many years into a stable marriage, anchored. He is no longer a stranger to himself; he is more likely to have forgiveness for human frailty. He can — theoretically — retreat to the safe harbor of his marriage at any time. What would it be like to be entranced by someone new, without needing, simultaneously to lay claim?"
Susan Dominus, writing for NYT Magazine on open marriages

An Exploration of Non-Monogamy

NYT magazine's cover story this week is a very fascinating long-read on open marriages and non-monogamous couples. Monogamy has such a moral dominance in our lives that an earnest exploration of non-monogamy, such as this article, makes a lot of people uncomfortable. 
Below are some excerpts, which do not serve as a summary, but they struck me for various reasons, and which I'd like to preserve. I'll post some excerpts and quotes in independent posts as well.
* "Would you rather be asleep and have things fall apart? Or rather be alive and have things fall apart?"
* Most monogamous couples labor to avoid [jealousy] at all costs; but for the philosophically polyamorous, jealousy presents an opportunity to examine the insecurities that opening a relationships lays bare.
* It took decades for sex researchers to consider the possibility that women’s fabled low libido might be a symptom of monogamy.
* ... the deluded idea that your partner is knowable and entirely safe…

Invitation

"I cordially invite you to join me in contemplation of the infinite."
The Casual Vacancy, Episode #1.1

free affections and wide interests

"The happy man is the man who lives objectively, who has free affections and wide interests, who secures his happiness through these interests and affections and through the fact that they, in turn, make him an object of interest and affection to many others."
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Co-opt

One of the reasons why I like poetry, songs and literary fragments is that I can co-opt them; personalize them with my interpretations... I can take the beauty in their words and make it my own.

So tell me how long, love, before you go

Yesterday I watched a documentary The Bridge, an stirring account of people committing suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge over the course of a year. It was striking to see the ambivalence in family and friends as they struggled to make sense of an act that is paradoxically so comprehensible and incomprehensible at the same time. Some friends and family knew in their gut that something like this would happen but felt helpless to stop it.  As I was listening to the song Agape (Bear's Den) this morning, I suddenly realized -- influenced by the documentary, no doubt -- that it could very well be about a significant other who is afraid that the beloved will die by suicide at some point. For I'm so scared of losing you
And I don't know what I can do about it
About it
So tell me how long, love, before you go
And leave me here on my own
I know that I don't wanna know
Who I am without you