Friday, May 12, 2006

2083 km: Space (or "Why I'm not a psychologist")

A phonecall this morning to inform me that a meeting was cancelled saw me get onto my Gomoto for a quick jog on the Strand beach. It was surprisingly hot for a Winter's day, and my pace was not much faster than that of the "ou tannies" who walk on the beach at that time (Reminds me of a song by Koos Kombuis on that topic).

So I was able to think once again. I remembered the time when I was in grade 6. Then I was a great runner! I used to beat any opposition, even the ones in grade 7 (Need to scan in a photo from that time one day). It was the day of our annual road-race, and yes, I won. I obliterated everybody who had any ideals of achieving the first place. I was proud. Ecstatic. I am usually a shy person, but on that day I walked up to one of the teachers, and asked her: "Did you see me win?".

I remember her response up until today. Actually, it cannot really be described as a response. It was just an inconsequential "Yes." Not a congratulations, not a smile or a hug or great enthusiasm. Just a "yes".

I realised a bit later that her son had come second.

I have a friend who has gone through a hard time recently. I had a conversation with her this morning about some advances I've made in my emotional life. She was very positive and affirming. But somehow I was left with the feeling that I was in the wrong space at that time. It is frightening to realise that there are times when a person's presence in a particular situation can actually accentuate hurt and doubts, even if it is meant positively.

That is probably why it is good that I am not a psychologist.

One more reason why I am greatful that I have a Gomoto. This morning it created space for me to realise that there are some spaces that, even though they are beautiful, are holy, and tender and is best left unentered.


Anonymous said...

I want to comment but wonder if it would be appropriated.

Weiers said...

Hehe, I hope you are not the "ou tannie" that I almost ran over on the beach because I was in such deep thought about how to go about writing this post :-).

Wayne said...

Probably one of the most insightful and worthwhile realisations to come to is that we enter one another's lives and run the risk of hurting them, or them hurting us. This is really par for the course and the only way to get away from it is to be reculisive. The real challenge is not to avoid these situations but, as you say, "make it a matter of perspective." If there is something in my life that is challenged, or hurt, or made more sensitive by your being in my life, then I have two options really. 1. Get you out of my life, or 2. Deal with whatever the heck is the problem!

But "whoa" there if that should give anyone cause to run rough-shod and brutishly around my life! I believe that change only occurs in the context of relationship. If the nature of your relationship with the friend you speak of is honest and caring, then your intrusion is acceptable and even to be desired, for it creates the possibilty of dialogue in the context of a "safe" relationship. It holds the potential for new perspectives and for changed lived experience (practical wisdom). The only time damage is really done, is when one party is cavalier about the interchange.

Have fun. Be yourself. Share your thoughts (I mean those that are really worth sharing ;-)) and allow each experience to make a positive impact on the person you are becoming.

Weiers said...

Wayne, the thoughts that you raised hit home quite nicely. When I wrote this blog, I was going through a personal relationship crisis of sorts, and I was actually of the opinion that my relationship with the other person was actually quite inappropriate and hurtful, and that the best solution would have been to withdraw from it.

I did not do that completely at that time, and hey, things are not perfect at this time (about 4 weeks later), but they have become more lifegiving, and I commend you for your wisdom on these matters.

I read an interesting article the other day in which the author described a statue in one of the open areas in the city of Philidelphia. From a distance it looks like a clothes peg that towers above the people who stand beneath it. At closer investigation it turns out to be two people in a tight embrace and in a kiss.

The author then comments that it is a beautiful statue, but that the observer actually has no idea of evaluating whether the kiss is an ethically good kiss, or whether it is ethically reprehensible. A person can only establish the ethical quality of a kiss, or an embrace by looking at the relationship that forms the context for it happening.

I think this is the issue that you have helped me grapple with in the context of this blog post.

Thanks for your comments. They are valuable and stimulating. Please visit frequently.