3 Dimensional Complexities Of Relationships
A blank piece of paper is a foreboding thing for me. I write in response to external stimulus, conversations going on around me.
Tom Cruise is getting divorced for the third time. Go figure. An apparently very successful man on many fronts, has, like many people, not found someone to share his entire life with. That’s understandable and normal. It literally happens to the best of people. I don’t pretend to know why their, or anyone else’s, relationship-status changes.
Partnering is always a strange and magical process – not always good or healthy. But if you don’t just co-inhabit the same building – if you genuinely try to partner with someone else, you are likely choosing to allow another person to significantly shape your life and how you spend your time. If you realize you don’t want your partner to shape your life any further – life can change in a hurry.
There are as many reasons to break up as there are to get together. And whether it’s for only one primary reason or for the sum of a majority of reasons, breaking up or coupling up, is a mysterious bargain, probably not largely the same for any two people.
Some people break up primarily because they want to be intimate or close to other people, and being in a monogamous, exclusive couple relationship, prohibits those opportunities. The person may still like their current partner tremendously, but they have decided they don’t want their current partner to be the end of their life’s relationships stories.
I’ve watched that process happen in my family’s histories. Part of the reason I became an advocate for non-traditional relationships is because I saw monogamous relationships repeatedly fail around me as I was growing up. Yet, in some cases, the people still really liked or admired each other – they just didn’t want to be beholden to only one person forever thereafter.
All of these issues are a controversial mess. Threateningly-strong opinions abound. I certainly don’t have answers to these issues in general or for specific relationships.
But I advocate not only “being tolerant” of, but also supporting people who choose non-traditional relationships. There are many significant and real problems in this world, but unorthodox couples, or other social groupings, trying to make a kind and considerate go of things is not an inherent problem.
The above artwork, titled “Down The Rabbit Hole,” is by Wylie Maercklein.
© All rights reserved by Wylie Maercklein.
Another cultural news story this week was TV host Anderson Cooper declaring publicly, “I’m Gay.” As it turned out, the news story was not so much that he was gay. Most people knew he was gay (but many people also knew Ellen DeGeneres was gay before she declared it publicly – and it was still a big story when she came out publicly).
The news this week was how most people seemed to respond to Anderson Cooper’s declaration with a shrug of the shoulders and a collective: “No big deal.” Instead of anti-homosexual constituencies releasing public statements stating their continued opposition to homosexuality and explaining how homosexuality is perverting our world, the cultural response was more a nod of the head and tip of the hat: “One more gay celebrity has come out.”
While I think anyone’s coming out should be encouraged and celebrated, I’m also content the general public is less appalled and feigns less bewilderment or surprise as more LGBT individuals publicly portray themselves honestly.
These 4 series images are by Alberich Mathews.
© All rights reserved by Alberich Mathews.
Polls show the general public is becoming more supportive of gay marriage:
Polls show younger people are more supportive of gay marriage, twice as likely to approve of homosexual relationships than their grandparents:
In modern US public education curriculum, children are commonly instructed: Discrimination is something that is taught. Your parents, teachers, and cultural messages teach you what to hate.
In the history of art, the arts have often been far ahead of public educational systems when it comes to expressing considerations of tolerance, admiration, and fairness.
For example, maybe the most famous musical composer and lyricist duo in the history of Broadway, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, were proclaiming in 1949, following the end of World War II, in their Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical, “South Pacific”:
“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
You’ve got to be taught from year to year
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade
You’ve got to be carefully taught
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
Before you are six or seven or eight to hate all the people your relatives hate
You’ve got to be carefully taught”
This is not to say there are not still millions of people who still hate the gays, the blacks, the Mexicans, the WASPs, the _____ list goes on and on. But there are some encouraging signs fewer people are starting out with prejudiced assumptions. More people are preferring to judge others based on their individual actions rather than presuming judgments based on skin color, nation of origin, religion, or sexual preferences.
For regular readers and writers: Thank you for the recent Flickr, Facebook, and post likes. Your kindness is appreciated. As you may have noticed, I’m trying a new format. If you have any positive or negative feedback, I would appreciate hearing it. Thank you.