“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!
In 1993, I got married. I was 36. My husband, a sweet man, didn’t love me – and, I knew it. My mother adored him, because he was a.) blonde; b.) white collar; c.) his parents went to Camp O’ the Woods; and d.) he was truly kind and attentive toward her. The night before my wedding, I stayed up til 2a.m. crying my eyes out with my BFForever, Lisa. Mum had made all the gowns, the fresh flowers I selected were due first thing in the morning, Aunt Margie had made a two foot liver pate carp with paper thin cucumber scales for the hor d’oeurves, and all the groom’s relatives had flown in from California. I prayed. I told God that, if this marriage were truly ordained, He[God] would sustain it; conversely, if it weren’t, would God, please, take care of it?
Apparently, God did.
Two years later, Mum died of brain cancer, and my husband left. One piece of paper filed in the state of Indiana, 100 bucks, sign on the line, relinquish the Oneida and the PC/keep the printer, and done. Feelings? Null. Void. Mum was dead. Who cared?
In the years prior to and since that wedding, I played the whiner like nobody.
And, I was hideous.
Wenhhhhh……”should he stay, or should I go?” Was anybody listening? It’s a wonder I have any girlfriends left. Oh. Wait.
Here’s what. As soon as we find someone we care about, seems we get stuck on this notion of Staying.
Why? What is Staying, really? Stay where? in the house? in the bed? in the room? What?
Stasis. Cessation of flow. Or, equilibrium. But, the acute absence of: growth?
Symbiosis. Two disparate, living beings coexisting in mutual agreement. Is that what we want? If we stay, that’s pretty much what we’ll get. Stasis. Or, symbiosis. They’re natural laws.
Stop spending so much energy deconstructing. If you come, come as often as you like, whatever, aftershocks, cry a little, get dressed. But, after you come? Go.
Go, joyously, exuberantly, spurred by the experience of being together, as far and as long as you like. Then, Return. Return to that which brought you in the first place. You might find that you both want to. How easy does that sound?
Love, they call it – the force that draws us, repeatedly, irresistibly, magnetically. But, it’s kind of a circular thing, and we should just submit to its movement. Not like hamsters in a wheel, repetitively, endlessly, to dissolution. I mean, ever forward, so that we never end up where we started. No; far beyond that place. Letting the circle take us, until we become it. I think somebody else said something like this a long time ago. You’ll pardon my reconstitution. The channeling vessel, and all that.
There’s a lot being said about Space – making some, needing some. But, maybe space is just a place in the whole movement through the relationship. Maybe it’s in the center of the circle. And, maybe, if we come, and go, and return, there’ll be plenty of space provided for us. We won’t even have to ask.
I am now old. Finally. Irrefutably. Not degeneratively. Not decrepit, not shriveled. Not quite yet. Just of age. I’ve reached the finishing stage, and with very great relief, thank you. No longer interested in asking for, or offering, any kind of promise to stay that interrupts growth. Because, yes; even old people can grow, and love had better.
Love to all ❤ littlebarefeetblog.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
3/21/15 all rights to this piece the author’s. Please request permission to share. Thank you!