Big fights don’t necessarily signal that a relationship is falling apart. Sometimes they signal that you’re working hard to reach a new level of intimacy. Both partners are daring to show their worst selves, because they subconsciously suspect that those worst selves are not worthy of love. So start there: You are worthy of love, big flaws and all, and so is he. You’re here to teach each other how to grow. You’re here to learn about joy, in the moment, together. You’re here to learn how to move past a polite, agreeable, arm’s length relationship and experience a deeper level of intimacy and trust together. Of course that’s going to feel threatening at first. Of course you’ll both panic at times. This is how it looks when two people are working hard to stay present, to open up, to be vulnerable, to love with all of their hearts. Be patient with yourself and him. You’re learning. You don’t need to follow a complicated rule book to fix this. You just have to stay as calm as you can, keep forgiving yourselves, and keep showing up.
Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. Love enacts a kind of vigilant perception — whether it is to a partner, a child, a co-worker, a neighbour, a fellow citizen, or any other person one may encounter in this life. Love says softly — I see you. I recognise you. You are human, as am I.
— Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files Issue #103
I tend to agree with the theory that if you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often, for each time it is revisited, you alter it irrevocably, remembering not the original impression left by experience but the last time you recalled it. With tiny differences creeping in at each cycle, the exercise of our memory does not bring us closer to the past but draws us farther away.
| Sally Mann, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs