Wednesday, April 25, 2007

dangerous visions

i love the sun magazine. it's sometimes inspiring, often sappy, and always (at least in part) depressing. but it's also well written and in every issue i find a nugget (or two, or three) of truth.

the latest issue has an interview with irish poet and philosopher john o'donohue.

i wanted to share with you one nugget of truth about relationships from o'donohue that i thought was beautifully said:

There is a way in which we treat our relationships almost like a colonial expedition: we want to colonize the space, all the territory in between, until there is no wilderness left. Most couples who have deadened in each other's presence have colonized their space this way. They have domesticated each other beyond recognition. Sometimes you see a beautiful woman who quickens your heart. Then you meet her again years later, and she has become a domesticated relic of who she once was, and you think, Where is the dangerous vision that I saw in her? The same happens to men.

I think it is more interesting to be with somebody who still has his or her wilderness territory -- and by that I don't mean bleak, burned-out, damaged areas where wounding has occurred; rather, I mean genuine wilderness. Upon seeing that in the other person, you promise yourself:
One thing I will never do is try to domesticate her wilderness. Because the authenticity of her difference and the purity of her danger and the depth of her affection are all being secretly nourished by that wilderness, as all of my spirit is being nourished by my own wilderness.

John O'Donohue in "The Unseen Life that Dreams Us," The Sun Magazine April 2007