Thoughts on Distance

Have you ever sat quietly and looked at someone you love and realised that in spite of your closeness to them, there’s also in them a distance you cannot span? It seems to me that the distance we experience in relationship is the very thing that invokes our longing to be close and intimate. Managing these two relational dimensions has much to do with relational health.

I remember watching the movie “Out of Africa” the theme of which was this struggle and interplay between closeness and distance in the relationship between Karen Blixen (Merryl Streep) and Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford).  What struck me at the end of the movie, were the words Karen spoke at his graveside, after losing him in an air accident – “…We loved him well. He was not ours. He was not mine.”

I’d like to follow this theme in a few more posts.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Thoughts on Distance

  1. I’ve never seen that movie but I’ve heard statements like we don’t own our children, God loaned them to us for a while! Or, in a relationship, we choose each other anew, each new day, regardless of a piece of paper saying we are bound together. Plus each of us is here to fulfill our true nature. And as we grow, I think that sometimes means letting people and places go, as we seek out new growth opportunities. That’s always felt lonely to me, but I’ve found it to be true in my own life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your sharing and your meaningful comment. Your last two sentences speak so profoundly of the struggle that many have, yet this letting go and the loneliness you describe, is, as you say, the way of growth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thank you Don. And I look forward to hearing your future posts on this. It’s something I’m going through right now, not with a person, but with an institution, and I’m trying to understand who I am in relation to all my thoughts and feelings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Have you ever sat quietly and looked at someone you love and realised that in spite of your closeness to them, there’s also in them a distance you cannot span?’

    Very true, Don, yet not quite so disarming as:

    Have you ever stood quietly and looked at your face in the mirror then realised that in spite of your closeness to yourself, there’s also within a distance you cannot span?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your reminder Hariod. Thank you for drawing our attention to that vast inner landscape that each of us has and is. It was Carl Jung who said:
      “At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • What a fantastic quote, Don, and although Jung felt Buddhist meditation and other practises didn’t best suit the modern Westerner mind, he was full of incredibly deep insight into Buddhist psychology and philosophy, as doubtless you are aware.

        Liked by 1 person

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