“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.”
Over the last few years some of my closest relationships have shifted, ended abruptly, or drifted apart. In an interview the poet Mark Nepo had this to say about relationships:
“Sometimes we have to say no to a relationship which is no longer true in order to say yes to our relationship to being here. If your soul can no longer breath living in the company of another it’s not about blame, it’s not about fault. Your first obligation is to your heart’s aliveness. We waste a lot of time trying to find fault with the other person. When really we can say from the depths of our heart, “I love you, and I can no longer be here, because I’ll drown if I stay. I don’t know how this happened, but it did.’
“There’s a Yeat’s poem about a mermaid who falls in love with a boy. She’s so happy to have found a mate. She can’t wait to show him where she lives. They go under water and in a moment she embraces him and gives him a long kiss and in a cruel happiness he drowns. The mermaid lives in the deep and she can visit the land. The boy lives on the land and he can visit the water. If she stays on land too long she dies. If he stays in the water too long he dies. So where is the relationship? It’s on the shore.
“If I live in the deep I need to bring up what I want to share to the shore, because if I force my loved one to go where only I was meant to go I will kill them. I’m the one who lives in that depth. But at the end of the day we can bring to the shore what we want to share.”
Hearing this story I can see how my relationships drowned because we forgot to keep meeting on the shore. Either I, or the other person, insisted we meet each other where we lived – up high, or down deep. This left the relationship breathless. Maybe some of those relationships will drift back onto the shore. Maybe not. But if they do I’ll be standing there with open arms.