Wednesday, February 11, 2009
It was one of those friendships that happens fast. I met her through another friend and there was something about her that intrigued me, that I found sort of exotic and quirky. She agreed with me that we had some things in common and what followed were get togethers for food--she always brings food to people, wherever she goes, a charming and sometimes maddening habit, since she can't afford it--and increasingly, serious talks about some issues with her new husband, with the old husband, with the three children with the old husband.
Cracks began to appear in the relationship after a few months, and I am pulling back a little. It is more a matter of staying with myself than with staying away from her. If relationships are the stuff of life, then navigating through them is the task that requires the greatest skill and has the greatest potential for pain--receiving it, and causing it in others.
I love to read Buddhist stuff because the message is-believe nothing, understand that things are not good or bad, they just are. There is a story about a young man who becomes crippled, in a wheelchair. Then, the general comes riding up to the farm, looking for soldiers, and they leave him behind, and he can stay with his family. So, being crippled is bad, and it is good. It all depends.
I feel that way about cracks. They are an indication of growth and change, of softening, of movement. A crack in a pot is not so good. A crack in the ice could mean that spring is coming. Cracks are what happen when trees grow, and from the cracks we get the beautiful texture of bark. Cracks in the sidewalk create opportunities for small plants to grow where they otherwise wouldn't. Cracks in our armor and defensiveness create the possibility of movement toward each other. Cracking up can mean we're enjoying a good joke or losing our marbles.
I felt some cracking in the veneer of my art work this week-breaking through some walls that I thought defined the edges. This, of course, is the great enemy of creativity: thinking that you know the size of the room you are in, when in reality, there is no room.