Pillow Talk

There’s a beautiful inaccuracy I’ve been shown over and over again in the last year:  how we assume we can know another human being simply through the few, or many interactions we’ve had with them over a few or many years.

For example, people believe that they know my husband, perhaps through his work, or his parenting, or his friendship, or by how many successes or failures he’s acquired over a lifetime of near seventy years of being human.

But they can’t possibly know who this same person is at the level of Pillow Talk. No amount of interviews, or long, close talks with friends, can reveal the kind of person who is so sacredly revealed to me when we are alone, held in the safety and sanctity of romantic relationship.

The other day I wondered, What would it be like if, instead of “knowing” someone by their outward appearance, habits of survival, or armoring, we were afforded the blessed experience of knowing them at the level of Pillow Talk?  What kind of world would we be living in, then?

If we knew without a doubt—without for one moment being hoodwinked by the personality in front of us—that this person, too, wakes in the night, crying out from a bad dream, that they curl into the fragile body of their mortality in high fever, in ill health, that they sometimes wish or ask to be held.

If we could assume that no one “has it together”, knows all the answers, or is comfortable in the human cloth but instead, yearns to know Home and return to it or return to a time when somebody told them, “Everything’s going to be okay,” and could still believe it…

I think that it would be a different world. Leaders of countries, the person next to us on the subway, our co-workers, our stepchildren; the parent, the sibling—we can know that there is a level of vulnerability that this person may show only one other person, ever, in a lifetime.

But that level of vulnerability exists in all of us, perhaps and unless we have become enlightened, which, for most of us is not the case.

So, this is an invitation to remember that whoever stands before you is a practiced personality, that can’t possibly share with you that level of intimacy reserved for the safe territory of the one who shares their bed—and if they can, it is the rare and blessed and evolved one.

There are glimpses of sacred tenderness we sometimes get to see:  The soft pat on the backside of the wife, by the husband, as she passes through the kitchen, a child in her arms.  The soft smooch placed onto the forehead of the beloved one who writes at the computer. The smiling eyes and impish grins on the faces of the young couple, exchanged ever-so-briefly at the family gathering, whispering of where they have recently been, or are going to later…

I think we all yearn to know and be known at this sacred level, and one day, I believe we’ll be living in a world in which we can.

For now, let’s believe it in order to see it.

You are Love, You are Loved,

em claire

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