June 14 – Swimming in Our Love – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

I lose sight of us at times; the way that fish can’t see the ocean; the price of lovers swimming in their love.

When we first fall in love, the powerful force of possibility grips us and pulls us along deeper and deeper into the days. When first shaping the bonds of love, we look at each other with incredible freshness and appreciate who is before us. We stare into our new lover’s eyes the way we might an overwhelming painting in which we imagine the secrets of life have been stroked thickly.

Inevitably, though, as we grow intimate, we begin to lose sight of each other, and there comes a day when we no longer see our loved one as others do.  Now we see the inside of their face, up close. Now we swim in each other like a mysterious river in which we sometimes see ourselves, and sometimes soothe ourselves, and sometimes drink of each other.

Eventually, we climb into the painting we once stared at with our pounding heart, and from inside the painting, we can forget there ever was such a painting. This is how we can take each other for granted. This is how we can imagine that the magic is gone.

But, as the reward for being drawn to the sea is to swim with the waves, the reward for being drawn into the depth of another is to feel each other rather than to see each other. This is the paradox of intimacy. On the way, we see what we dream of feeling, but once there, we feel from the inside what we can no longer readily see.

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