Sunday, July 15, 2007


I apologize in advance for yet another poor me post. Quit reading right now if you aren't in the mood.

I will begin with a question: Why can't people resolve issues? I'm not talking war or poverty, of course, as I'm not naive enough to believe any of that can ever be satisfactorily resolved. I'm talking personal relationships. Is each of us so isolated from those around us that there can never be any real communication? When we think we're reaching someone, or communicating on some deep level, are we just fooling ourselves, so blind by the pleasure of "really talking" that we don't realize we're actually doing nothing more than some weird verbal/communicative masturbation?

Surely we share something as fellow human beings, a commonality that allows us to go into the heart and mind of each other, at least to a certain degree. When that person is someone we love, someone we know well, it should be a given that we can reach each other and, at least sometimes, be in the same psychic space. But I am finding more and more that the concept of knowing someone is completely false. Each of us lives in our own private world. Each of us is protected by some kind of wall, some kind of shell. For some that shell has openings, for others it's impenetrable. All I can do is surmise at how someone feels, what they want, how to reach them. But it's always a guess, a shot in the dark. I don't really know anyone. How sad that the hardest thing to understand is our own fucking species.

I find myself once again facing the shit that is my life, alone. I tried to figure out some way to make my man understand me and stick by me. But he can't see where I am or who I am or why I do the things I do. And I even feel now that I can't blame him for it. However, seeing the finality of how far he'll go to protect himself made me realize that any concept of "us" is long gone. That, in turn, has made me realize that the whole idea of "us" is false. If we are closed off from one another, how can anything ever happen between two people? How can there be a concept like "love"? Does love even exist? If so, what is it if not a merging, a blending, a painful acceptance and attempt to understand that mysterious being called "You"?

What scares me most is this: If I don't know him, if I can't reach him, who the hell do I know?


caryl said...

Wow. That's tough one and I'm in no position to offer relationship advice. I'm sitting here pissed off at my husband. (He's giving me shit about this book signing. Why? I don't get it)

I think people are really good at only letting you see what they want you to see of them, so your question is a good one. I have no uplifting words.

I hope someone wiser than I responds to your post. Maybe they'll help me in some way too.

Julie said...

Thanks, Caryl. A lot of men are threatened by TFH, I think.

I got no answers. It just kind of sucks to think that even your soul mate is a complete stranger...


ingrid said...

Julie, do you really think anyone can be your one and only soul mate and meet ALL your needs ALL the time? People are too complex for that. I think as we get older we get better at recognizing what we need but maybe not any better at delivering it...

Where are you on the old Maslovian hierarchy? Are you (or P) meeting your basic needs of safety and security? Are you ready to move on up?

And on a more concrete level, what is the image attached to this post? I love it!

Julie said...

Ingrid, yummy food for thought.

I don't think anyone can meet all my needs all the time, or even some of my needs some of the time. At this point I relish an occasional sense of satisfaction, nothing more.

What I'm talking about in this post is the fact that more and more often I'm getting get the feeling that whatever is going on inside other people is a complete mystery to me. I like what you said about "maybe we get better at recognizing what we need but maybe not any better at delivering it."

As for the Maslovian hierarchy, interesting starting point. Do we have to satisfy the bottom to even start to try the top? I've never understood how that works. You may be onto something, as I'm sure P and I are in different places, and we're both pretty low, come to think of it...

ingrid said...

Yes, the idea is that you have to meet your most basic needs before you can move on up to the esoteric things like love and libido. At the top is self-actualization. See, it's like a video game!

I have only the most basic understanding of the theory but it makes sense to me.

Maybe regarding you and P, though, one would have to look at the family as well. You have a strong need to protect your children; he doesn't (he has a grown daughter right?).

And dear heart, what is the artwork on your page?

Julie said...

Holy crap, the artist! I got so wrapped up in my pyramid bottom that I forgot!

His name is Adolph Wolfli, and he was an inmate at a Swiss asylum for most of his adult life (this was the late 19th/early 20th century.) He painted some amazing things using intricate and complex designs, odd repetitious faces and a fabulous palette. He would take any piece of paper he could find and completely cover it with these maze-y patterns. Fabulous stuff.

Wolfli was the inspiration for Jean Dubuffet's Art Brut movement. His work was also a part of the Printzhorn shows (art of the insane) in Switzerland. He composed music, too, using his own invented method of transcribing notes. I don't even know if anyone has definitively translated the compositions into music, so no one knows what the music is supposed to sound like, which completely intrigues me...

ingrid said...

Wolfli! I saw a bunch of that Swiss inmate work at the Outsider Art Show in NY a couple of years ago. Loved it. I didn't know that they inspired Dubuffet. Mme Julie, you know EVERYTHING worth knowing!