Rainer Maria Rilke

I read a lot of works (and write a bit too) about the desire to merge with “the other”. To break down whatever barriers there are and be one with our love. It’s a romantic thought and I absolutely see it’s appeal…it is impossible though. No matter what level of intimacy is achieved, there is always a void between us and the other that cannot be traversed. You can never fully know your partner nor they you. Between the most intimate of partners, parts remain in the shadow. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise because the reality is that coming to simply know yourself fully is probably beyond us. If we can not come to know ourselves, how can we every hope to completely know our other. One of the many essential tasks in a relationship is to become comfortable with this idea. Accept that our other will never be able to fully know us, nor we them and that is not because of a fault or lack of interest or energy…it’s just an is, a truth. I do love how Rilke flipped things around and makes claim that distance is what “makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” In other words, to see your partner in their entirety, space is a requirement. You can only appreciate a beautiful landscape at a distance.