Have I ever told you that I live in sleepy little backwater? Maybe just the once or twice? I love where I live. I love being out in the Dales within a half hour’s car drive, walking my imaginary dog or cycling with the children. (I am allergic to proper dogs, but imaginary ones don’t make me sneeze or wheeze.) I love staring at the hills whilst I wash the dishes, and driving up through the mist in the valleys on winter mornings into the glorious sunshine which lights up the hues of green on the moors. I have spent the best part of twenty years living in cities around the country.
But I miss my friends. I miss having people to call on for a chat, or a coffee or a beer on a sunny evening. People who challenge and excite and stimulate me. I have some lovely colleagues who do all of the above, but none of them live near enough for a “let’s pop out for a beer” phone call.
I am astonished to find that blogging is replacing these kinds of friendships for me. Through blogging I have met the most stimulating people. People from all walks of life, who are a constant source of pleasure and surprise.
One of these people I have met in ‘real life’ and is fast becoming a dear friend (hey, BoBo!) Two of them I chat with daily via email or gchat and are fast becoming very dear friends (hey Stray and Caroline!) Many of them I email occasionally for stimulating and interesting discussions (too many to mention…..)
Sometimes it can be hard to make a relationship using only the written word. We rely so much on non verbals to aid our understanding of the other. A tone of voice, a slight look of shyness, a feeling of insecurity that silently passes between us, a teasing smile that indicates I was only joking really. With the written word we have only our words and our unconscious self to play clever tricks on our minds.
I am in my tenth year of working as a therapist. When I first began I wanted to soothe people, in the way that I had been soothed during my dark years by my therapist. But we cannot just soothe. That is not how relationships work. They are full of fractures and misunderstandings and our dear unconscious reminding us silently that people cannot be trusted, do not care for us, will never be there when we really need them. These ruptures form the very basis of the therapeutic process. It is through these fissures that meaning erupts, overwhelming us with its presence until our conscious mind can take a hold and truly make sense of them. I have learned, sometimes very painfully, that the rupture is the heart of the relationship. Whilst close, loving contact is beautiful, it is through the rupture that we really learn to be alongside each other in our painful existential aloneness. A carefully held rupture is an exquisite thing to behold.
We are all forging something new here, in this little blogging world we inhabit. We are learning a new way of making relationships. Friendships that can hold incredible value, but that need tender care at times because the rupture is so much more difficult to hold when we cannot be physically present.And so to my lovely bloggy friends, and to those I am yet to meet, let’s hold the ruptures with tenderness. They are just as important as the times of meeting