I reflect on my neediness, struggles, fears and loves in relationships. I learn that I can receive from someone’s going as well as from their being present, that my nostalgia for the past and my fears for the future can make me impatient, anxious, oblivious, even more needy in the now of my life. I learn this as I read and reflect on Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, The Gift From the Sea.
"Relationship is not strangled by claims. Intimacy is tempered by lightness of touch," she writes and I am encouraged.
Though I'm not a good dancer - not a dancer really at all, I understand the metaphor: "A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay, and swift and free . . . There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing."
Lindbergh is both poetic and profound in the following, comparing life and friendship with the ebb and flow of seashore waves. "How can one learn to live through the ebb-tide’s of one’s existence? How can one learn to take the trough of the wave? It is easier to understand on the beach, where the breathlessly still ebb-tides reveal another life below the level which mortals usually reach. In this crystalline moment of suspense, one has a sudden revelation of the secret kingdom at the bottom of the sea. . . .
She concludes the imagery with words that take you into the ocean depths and beauty, and the shores receptive joy.
"So beautiful is the still hour of the sea’s withdrawal, as beautiful as the sea’s return when the encroaching waves pound up the beach, pressing to reach those dark rumpled chains of seaweed which mark the last high tide."