Thursday, June 11, 2009

Unvarnished


One of the things I like about doing this blog is that it is pretty unvarnished. There is no delusion that we have all the answers, that our (pardon the crudity) shit doesn't stink, that we aren't figuring things out, making mistakes, picking ourselves up and continuing forward, hoping to do better the next time something presents itself.

If you are looking for a definitive treatise on polyamory, you will not find it here. There are no quick and easy answers, no simple fixes, no step-by-step programs to follow that will lead to Poly Nirvana, where the unicorns roam free, and communication is always without effort. There are disagreements, there are inconsistencies, there are times when we are weary and disinterested in growing any more, thank you very much!

And yet, there is more joy, more laughter, more learning, growing, intimacy and pleasure than pain, jealousy, or fatigue. In the grand scheme of things, it's a pretty steady upward spiral. I like myself and my partners more this year than I did last. I love myself and my partners now in ways that I couldn't foreseen two years in the past.

Do I have it all figured out? Hell no! Do I think that sharing the struggles and joys I experience with others may be of benefit to them in their journey? I certainly hope so. I know that many realizations are made when I write them down to share, benefiting the author as much, or more, than the reader.

So I continue to write about our lives being polyamorous, to share, to put it all out there, transparent, not glossy or glamorous, but hopefully useful, if not to you, to me. Unvarnished, because that is the way life is, that is the way love is. The patina that is acquired through years of use is more valuable than the untouchable beauty of a artificially polished surface that scratches off when bumped. It is more durable and complex, with deeper character and more interest.

4 comments:

lynelle said...

"The patina that is acquired through years of use is more valuable than the untouchable beauty of an artificially polished surface that scratches off when bumped. It is more durable and complex, with deeper character and more interest"

i *love* that concept ~ thank you for sharing it so well. it connects to why i'm calm-excited and happy to be at a point where my new love has grown to be familiar enough to also feel like *home* to me, in a way that is similar, yet different than the "home" feeling i have with my husband.

i don't feel a loss in the shift from the NRE shiny-new-fun-focused-energizing-floating-on-air-love. i want our love and time to blend and make that patina you speak of.

lynelle said...

and side-tracking to a different yet connected aspect...

i had to drop paperwork off at the office of the people who hire me for contract work. and an employee i know was there and i said hello. and she chatted me and told me her daughter recently married. and did i want to see pictures? and i was in a hurry, but her proud-mom-eyes were glowing. and sometimes stopping is just the right thing to do.

and her daughter is in the peace corps in fiji. and she met a fijian man and they became best friends. and the mom met him when she visited fiji last fall. and since then, he asked her daughter to marry him. and her daughter said yes; she'd love to marry her best friend.

and the photos are lovely. a casual beach wedding, with horses roaming free in the background. and the bride and groom wore homemade "dresses" that his family made. and according to my friend, the wedding outfits were traditional fijian ~ the groom's outfit is customarily more fancy than the bride's, but both outfits are handmade and hand painted out of a white tree bark that looks like fabric from a distance and looks pretty rough up close. but lovely fancy-ness and lovely hand-painting.

and the groom is a black man. *very* deep black. and the bride is very white. and apparently, in fiji, being white is such a minority that it's common to feel like you really stand out like a sore thumb.

and as i asked my friend about her daughter and her husband and best friend for life, my friend shared what her daughter told her: mom, with him i don't feel white. i just feel happy.

and coincidentally, or not, just as she told me that, the photo slide show ended with the last photo ~ a picture of the bride and groom holding hands, but the picture only showed the hands. a very very black hand, holding a very very white hand. teary beautiful-ness.

sometimes, we're just meant to stop in our daily rushes, don't you think?
~~~~~
and that sentiment has been in my heart since i heard it. imagining that many, many black people may have felt something similar at different times in our history... maybe when they met white people who accepted them, maybe they felt that with steve or heather, or joe or susan, they didn't feel black; they just felt happy...?

and maybe as the years pass with polyamorous people living and sharing their lives as they see fit, we grow our personal patinas that slowly change perceptions in the people and communities around us.

so in my head, there's the image of my friend's daughter's picture. and i also have a dream-image of several hands, different colors or not. people holding hands with their loved ones, feeling like with these people, they don't feel odd for loving 2,3, or more people. they just feel happy.

and as we stop feeling odd in a small circle and then ever-growing circles, maybe the people around us do too. one set of hand-holdings after another, changing the world. shining our love so people don't think of it as odd; growing a wider familiarity that sees it as just another option; "just" as a happy thing.

our movement...? maybe it's in our hearts and in the hands we hold.

and yea, that's corny and silly. so i'm corny and silly. and a lot of other things. but i'm going to hold hands a lot.

and i am still touched about the concept of growing a deep patina... still teary about the wedding picture hands... still having those words echoing in my head: "with him i don't feel white. i just feel happy."

BlairM said...

Poly families, being all about flexibility and variety, are going to be very hard to nail down in terms of form and function. As you said -- no easy answers, no step-by-step program.

And yet, you (all three of you) often strike resonant chords with me. I suppose that's because the really hard work isn't so much about form and function as it is about all the foundation building -- the growing, the weariness, the mistakes, the upward spiral.

And while you may not be applying a lot of spit and polish, there's a lot of good writing here.

I really appreciate the effort you put in. It is amazing how often what you are talking about is rattling around in my mind too as my poly family wends its way through the same kinds of issues.

:-)

polyfulcrum said...

@ lynelle regarding the black and white contrast idea: When I was younger, I lived in a country where 98% of the population was black. Needless to say, I was in the minority. Top that off with puberty, and let's just say it was a rough time! Yes, everyone WAS looking at me.;)

What I took away from that was that, even if it was uncomfortable, I couldn't change who I was to fit in. As an adult, I think that's made poly more palatable. "Stuck out like a sore thumb"? I've been there, done that. It's not as bad as you might think. Poly is actually a lot more invisible, as differences go. This is something I can do.