Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Intimacy and other random thoughts

I'm just a tad unnerved by the realisation of how little anonymity I can have on this blog. Either I hide every single detail about myself, or I accept that every minute detail can be known. I tend to strive for a happy medium, something that is true and informative, but not too intimate. But that doesn't work. For the resourceful surfer-hacker out there, all can be uncovered.

So today I think I will ponder the concept of intimacy.

If you've been following my blog lately, you know that I've been putting a lot of energy into rather weighty topics. More than usual, that is. After all, I'm a sociologist, so deep thinking is my trade. While I prefer to write my portraits, these days, it seems the portraits are consistently pointing me to analysis of some sort. I'm not doing such a great job of enjoying those portraits merely for the beauty of the people I'm attempting to portray. Instead I'm probing, analysing, seeking.

I feel like if I understand their story, perhaps I will understand my own story just a little bit better. During the past week some colleagues and I have been meeting with local youth networks and they have been drawing their social maps for us. The social maps are a good reminder that everything in our world is interconnected. Your life may overlap with mine only through this blog, or through reading each other's blogs. But what happens to me impacts you in some small way, and what you learn can be insightful to my own view of the world. It's a beautiful thing, this interconnectedness.

Which brings me back to intimacy. I am noticing in my complex web of layered relationships, that most people I know are better at intimacy than me, are able to open their hearts further than I can mine. (For example, most people wouldn't spend most of their blog post on intimacy writing about social maps!)

And yet, you might posit, this blog is so introspective, it shares so much! That's what I used to tell myself, but I'm seeing that voluntarily peeling back one layer of skin is a great way to get out of having two or three or four layers ripped off. Generally, avoiding deep wounds is a good thing, but there are also many instances in which the wound is needed, if for nothing else than to heal a yet-deeper wound.

There is a lot about myself that I don't acknowledge even to myself, and much more that I don't acknowledge to others. Part of it is my reaction to my lifestyle, which has left my skin too tender to react to further cuts in a healthy way. Raw, irritated skin probably can't handle more than one layer of removal. But habits die hard, and if it's not something I do, I'm not sure how it's something I would learn to do.

And that's about all I have to say about that, because this blog is an acknowledgement of what is, not an attempt to peel more skin. Not yet, anyway.

...sharing my very-very-imperfect words with the lovely community of much-more-perfect-than-mine words, Emily's Imperfect Prose

14 comments:

Mama Zen said...

"voluntarily peeling back one layer of skin is a great way to get out of having two or three or four layers ripped off"

I recognize myself here. Excellent post.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

wow. Good stuff.

life or something like it said...

most people I know are better at intimacy than me, are able to open their hearts further than I can mine.

words I have thought of myself so many times.
THank you for your vulnerability here today.

Belinda said...

Wonderful post!

Gosh, I see myself reflected in your words. I don't by any means use my blog as a chronicle of my days. I suppose it's because I don't believe intimacy can be achieved via a blog post.

Joybird said...

(For example, most people wouldn't spend most of their blog post on intimacy writing about social maps!)

LOL (which writes so small but I really enjoy doing it)-I relish your honesty

but I'm seeing that voluntarily peeling back one layer of skin is a great way to get out of having two or three or four layers ripped off.

Kati, I'm not so sure this is such a bad thing. For me there is a balance, especially in my blog, between chosen transparency and discrete privacy. But then I've long worn my heart on my sleeve and privacy is a new skill I'm trying to exercise. So the cases aren't exactly the same.

Brian Miller said...

oeel when you are ready...i put about 80% of me out there...used to just say whatever but a run in with a stalker has kept me holding back just a bit...its a tenative balance you know...

tinuviel said...

"...voluntarily peeling back one layer of skin is a great way to get out of having two or three or four layers ripped off. Generally, avoiding deep wounds is a good thing, but there are also many instances in which the wound is needed, if for nothing else than to heal a yet-deeper wound."

Wise words. Thank you.

Kati patrianoceu said...

Everyone... thanks for your kind words as always, and for allowing me not to feel alone.

Joybird, Brian, I should probably clarify that I think I'm probably MORE open on my blog than I am in person. As I imagine you do, I process things through writing and find it easier to express myself that way, especially with the semi-anonymity the blog affords. In person, it's just that much harder. And that is what frightens me to realise.

Cathy said...

In the end, each of us is called to intimacy in our own peculiar way...

Anna said...

"voluntarily peeling back one layer of skin is a great way to get out of having two or three or four layers ripped off", It is easier for me to open more in the blogworld than in person too--- I get that. And even with people, I have layers of friendships-- there are a select few I confide in, and it took time to build those relationships. There are a few more that I know more than casually, and even more where it's more superficial. I think it takes wisdom and prayer to know whom and when to trust... and also there needs to be a readiness to that sharing time, when ready to face what needs to be looked at.

Lisa notes... said...

Kati,
You've obviously hit a nerve with many of us. Finding the right balance of vulnerability on-line and in real life is a moving target. So we just keep deciding day by day what we reveal and what we keep to ourselves. I'm glad for all the things you've chosen to reveal.

emily wierenga said...

hello beautiful,
you know, that's what i love about this online imperfect community. you've captured it perfectly here. we can be intimate with one another... a church of lost souls, finding comfort in the other. loved this post, kati. xo

Ryan and Melanie said...

such good thoughts here, Kati. I find it easier to open up on my blog as well since similar to you, I process my thoughts in writing.

-Mel

Rachel said...

Good pondering, I have always found it easier to write my thoughts as to face to face conversation.

Post a Comment