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a deep and private place

If my inner self, my emotional life was a garden it would be riotous with colour. Chrysanthemums and peonies, scarlet poppies and tall henna flowers; fairy lights (or actual fairies!) between tree branches; the air would hum and shimmer with dragonflies and bees and nightfall in this garden would bring glittering, whispering things. Crickets and fireflies, clusters of tiny frogs.

There would be a labyrinth and a hammock and a secret hideaway. There would also certainly be some sagging fencing and cobwebs, menacing patches of bramble and obstinate tangles of ivy; some knackered Socialist-era play equipment and at least one orphaned shoe.

My garden has gates, but no walls. It is the kind of garden that welcomes visitors, that waves its brambles and its flowers hoping to catch the eye of other, similar gardens and inviting them out to play. It cries out for picnics. My garden has a natural exuberance, and it does not like hiding*. Hidden, it droops and wilts like a flower in the dark. It becomes overgrown with weeds.

Z's garden on the other hand, is a private place with high walls**. It is well-defended with illusion and sleight-of-hand and possibly the Tardis. Who, me? his garden says, and vanishes. If you hunt it, it's not there and you will never find it, because it's stowed in dimensions you cannot reach and this is vexing to a person fired by curiosity.

But the wily garden-hunter adapts to his quarry. Becomes unobtrusive and waits, quiet as a bird-watcher, patient as the photographer waiting for the last snow leopard. And then sometimes the garden appears. Glorious and fey as a creature in a fairytale. Unicorns cannot be tamed, mermaids cannot be possessed; deprived of their coats, swan-princes become the saddest men or earth.

Over the years I've found spyholes that offered glimpses of his garden. Chinks have been allowed to appear in its walls. I've even caught it natural and unselfconscious. Z's relationship with his children is a joy -imaginative and tender, funny and warm.

But the deeper he loves something, the more secluded it is. The only thing you'll see is a joke, or a flash of anger or fear. If you are loved by him then Z would go to war for you, defend you without question, would lay down his life for you. But he will never be able to speak of how he feels, because in his garden there is no language. Only reflections and dreams. His exclusion of you is not unkind, but it's near absolute and he has no reference system for how to change it, no more than a zebra has for becoming a plumber.

I've spent seven years with Z, learning how to love and relate by different rules, just as he has. My flowers and dragonflies have crept across the space between to set up camp at the base of his walls and a few times a year the walls dissolve and his garden shines for me, for a little while.

Sometimes these fundamental differences in us sadden me, make me feel lonely and excluded - just as they make him feel anxious and defensive. But most we learn to live with less and cope with difference. Most of the time it is enough to lean against the tall stone of the walls around him, to shut my eyes and feel the sun on my face and know that we are as near as we can be, in our separate worlds.

*Third house moon

**12th house moon.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
beeswing
Aug. 31st, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
What a lovely and thought-provoking post.

I'm curious about your fleeting mention of astrology. How did you learn about it, and are there any introductory books or websites you'd recommend?
rainsinger
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
I developed an interest in astrology when I was in my twenties, and after I hit upon the kind I really liked (Psychological Astrology) I fell passionately in love with it. I did a few terms at the FAS (Faculty of Astrological Studies) in London and then I did a lot of reading and went to seminars in the CPA (Centre for Psychological Astrology) when time and money allowed. (I think they are goign to be doing online learning from next year).

I find astrology a really useful reference system. The houses for example describe different spheres of life, and putting it all together is like building a multi-layered puzzle.

So, the Moon in the natal chart refers to your inner self, the insticts, the emotional life. Needs and how you find security. My moon in Scorpio (deep feelings, attraction for the dark side and the underside of life) is in the Third House, which is the House of Communication(I like to talk about feelings - both in the analysis sense and the playful sense).

On the other hand, the 12th house is the House of the Unconscious. So to Z, his feelings are very difficult to access to verbalise. They sort of float around and he feels and processes them in a completely different way than me. I have a very clear idea of what my needs are and whether they are being met, but to him it's challenging to try and conceptualise his needs, to put them into words.

There's lots of different kinds of astrology and lots of really good resources.

www.astro.com has a good selection of free charts and interactive features. The 12 houses, and Aspects in Astrology by Sue Tompkins are comprehensive and good books that explain the meaning of the different components of a chart and their relationship to each other.

Liz Greene is my favourite astrology author, and she has written lots http:http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=liz+greene&sprefix=liz+greene

The Faculty of Astrological Studies does online courses as well and they are a good way to get a solid foundation: http://www.astrology.org.uk/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1



beeswing
Sep. 3rd, 2011 08:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this, it's really an amazing reply. I'm just getting fascinated by it all and had no idea of how to learn anything more (it seems like a really fine line between flakey and fascinating sometimes, with astrology) but I think psychological astrology is what appeals to me most at the moment, just for exploring :)

I look at my Astrodienst horoscope every day, and did one of the other free ones on the site, and it really almost freaked me out with its 'spot-on-ness' and I started thinking I'd like to learn more.

THANK YOU again. That's so kind of you.
monkeyssk8
Aug. 31st, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
This post is beautiful!
rainsinger
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you. x
todayiamadaisy
Sep. 1st, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
This is lovely.
rainsinger
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you. x
minnesattva
Sep. 1st, 2011 08:43 am (UTC)
I grew up with parents you love me like Z does you, and I know it can be sweet and it's more than enough, but it can be hard, too. For everyone. But then so often I think people of differing, hm, gardening styles do tend to end up with each other. So we must do something for one another, something good enough to outweigh the difficulty and stress it sometimes brings.
rainsinger
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
I think we all do learn from each other, and we all change each other a bit without needing to change our authentic selves. But change can be so uncomfortable that sometimes people are reluctant to do it, particularly if there is a lot of anxiety. Then we just dig in and reinforce our gardening style. I get frustrated often, but he's also the only person I want to be with.
prophetessamy
Sep. 1st, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
So much is conveyed in your footnotes! 7 years together is a pivotal point..saturn cycle. Time for recommitment. Hearts to you.
rainsinger
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
Saturn cycles have begun to feel like skill-learning. For instance the first years are hard because you are rubbish and constantly having to think about doing your new skill consciously. It's stressful and exhausting. But as you become more competent, then the skill can be done unconsciously so it begins to feel more okay. And if you have a strong foundation you begin to build more elegant skills.

The first few years I did a lot of stamping my feet and whinging, but now I don't think there is anyone else I'd want to be with.
truth_is_not
Sep. 4th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
As always, your posts can make me get damned dust motes in my eyes.
rainsinger
Sep. 6th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you.
x
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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