I read a cool passage in a book a while ago: a woman lies in bed at 3am awake one night, she asks her partner to tell her a story beginning with one word as inspiration; she provides him the word (fish), and he proceeds to tell her a sweet and insightful story about his childhood relationship with his father, and how they used to go on camping & fishing trips together (the only thing they ever did together) once a year. Of course these trips were about more than the catch. The man realized that he watched his Dad’s every move in how he carefully prepared the line, waited with silent patience for the fish, and then with massive strength and courage, would reel it in with all his might sweating and shirtless—until the wriggling fish surrendered to his knife. He said the dinner they ate together on the shores of the river, just the two of them, was the best he ever had. They spent the weekend without a bath, pitching their tent wherever they wished yet respecting their environment, and each night, devoured a fresh & tasty reward for dinner. They sat for hours by the little but warm fire his Dad built for them the moment the sun began to set. In those hours, his Dad would sometimes take his sweater off himself and place it on him. He loved these hours. And the closeness, the sharing, the undistracted attention two people experience when alone with each other.
Time alone with those we love is not often enough. And when we get it, what do we do with it? Do we make it rich, memorable—a story worth telling when someone asks us to tell one?
The other day while my child was napping my husband and I just sat on the couch talking for 2 hours. We hadn’t done this since before her birth (3 yrs ago.) It was intimate, not just because we held each other, though that was delicious, but we talked about our relationship—some important stuff we needed to discuss, and it was a bit tough going…but we both smiled by the end of our talk.
People don’t talk about, or even think about intimacy often. Maybe we don’t have time for it, maybe we’ve forgotten about it because now we think FaceBook, and all of the other social media interruptions are “enough.”
Try it tonight with a person you love.
Even if it’s just sitting in the rocking chair a bit longer with your child, or giving them a hug and kiss for no reason, looking them in the eyes and saying “I love you!”
Or try the inspirational word idea I read about.
Initiating intimacy takes courage and desire and time. But the rewards last forever for all involved.