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11 months ago · · 0 comments

Love as Creative Process

A Third Body

by Robert Bly

A man and a woman sit near each other,
and they do not long at this moment
to be older, or younger,
nor born in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are,
talking or not-talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.

The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.

A man and a woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

(from Loving a Woman in Two Worlds)

If creativity, understood psychologically, is the conscious bringing together of two different entities, into the same space, to create a third, irreducible product, then why not think of love as the ultimate expression of creative process?

Have you ever experienced, as with the poet, this sense of deeply contented presence — of not wishing to be any other place than right here — with the one you love so much?

Steven and I have been dear friends starting over 20 years ago. The thing is: we had a 15-year break in the middle of our relationship. Literally, no contact. But when reintroduced, we picked up right where we left off, without skipping a beat (something the drummer in me scarcely missed).

Last night, before a shared evening of Gershwin (Piano Concerto in F), we sat together over a bowl of butternut squash soup. At one point, Steven reminded us of the time; we didn’t want to miss the concert (something I’ve done at least once!).

We had plenty of time.

Till we didn’t.

Now how is it that those 45 minutes between Steven’s initial checking, and our next pause, evaporated into thin air?

Theorists of creativity would say that he and I, as all creative artists (which is everyone of us, truly), were in a state of flow. Among other qualities, this state of mind and soul is characterized by there being no conventional sense of time. The timeless now. Followed by now. And again, now. And so on…

Thus it is that, by some utter miracle, Steven and I managed to come up for air, some 45 minutes after point A, to notice at point B that we in fact needed now to head toward supremely inviting Segerstrom Hall for Gershwin’s lesser known masterpiece.

The fact is that, for Steven and me, “age has come, parting has come, and death will come.” But for now, two old/young/timeless friends get to share just such moments of the most satisfying mutuality, creativity indeed, without which the both of us would be infinitely poorer. Rich me!

Categories: Addiction, Creativity, Forgiveness, Healing, Life tips, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Philosophy, Recovery, Self-Compassion, Shame, Spirituality

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