How can we create spaces that cultivate a deep inner safety? What does it look like and feel like, to know we are safe? That we belong in the world, as we are. How can we find safety through being in relationship? To see life through seeing one another, through holding one another? What does that show us about creating tender, loving futures? Who are we intimate with ~ beyond human intimacy?
“If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you,” they write, “it is because you are missing a part of their context. It’s that simple.”
When Anaïs Nin said “I don’t want worship. I want understanding,” and when George Orwell said “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood,” and when Marina Tsvetaeva said “In my early childhood, for as long as I can remember, I thought that I wanted to be loved. Now I know and tell everyone: I don’t need love, I need understanding.”
I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses. To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to done, not a background to thought.
∆ Why I adore the night, by Jeanette Winterson