“There are two sides to every story.”
But, let’s not limit ourselves.
When things occur in twos, a certain tension arises. Pairing isn’t easy.
We can think of many concrete pairs, in nature – eyes, hands, feet – as, somehow, intended to be matched.
Two of a thing implies balance; one, on either “side.”
But, we forget; in order for two to create balance, each of the two must either be attached, or positioned, on a third entity. Hands, feet, breasts: on bodies; socks, shoes: on feet, attached to legs, on bodies. Central to these pairings is the body itself. Pairs may be present, on each side; yet, the core is essential.
Scales are designed to determine whether or not two items are equal in weight. And, when the two are found to be unequal something else is added, to one side of the scale, to achieve balance.
Perhaps humans could take a lesson.
Two by two. Our culture believes in the sanctity of the institution of the marriage bond. Two people, committed to sharing lives, responsibilities, duties, tasks, decisions, choices. Offspring.
When one or the other of a married couple is unhappy, one seeks another: a confidante, a mistress, a paramour. When the marriage inevitably founders, someone else is often enlisted to come to the couple’s aid: a marriage counselor. Interestingly, during the counseling phase, many couples may report a certain stabilization. Remove the counselor, and the challenge begins, again. The two seem to need a third.
Two items, or two people, standing side by side, really only exist on one plane. Adding an un-encoupled third necessitates depth – stepping into the frame, the 3rd dimension. Invariably, when a third party enters a committed relationship, even with the heartache and betrayal which is ultimately felt by all, somebody always gains a degree of insight. The perspective, of the third side.
I found out today that the triangle is the most stable of all geometric forms. Stands to reason. Just picture three children, hand in hand with each other. Excusing the precise demands of geometry, they form a human triangle, stabilizing all three. Not a one of the children is the “leader”. None has pre-eminence; all are equal.
In music theory, the interval of the second is the most unstable, creating an unsettling dissonance. But, place just one [silent] step between, and voila: the interval of the third, building block of all consonant harmony.
Devout Western religious often encourage their following to make God, the Higher Power by designation, a focal point in marriage. The Creator, as core. And, what of the Christian Trinity – Father, Son, Spirit? Manifest, equally.
In other cultures, coupling is plural. Are there any studies that support a theory regarding the stability of such relationships?
The next time we find ourselves wanting somebody, or something, all to ourselves – perhaps we might check our balance. We might open our hearts, search for, and then acknowledge the need for a focal point, a shared aspiration, an object of mutual devotion. A third.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
10/24/15 All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Sharing permissible by request of the author. Thanks!