{Thu 2 November 2006}   Contract
One of you
I could not be —
Yet, to be not-with-you, I need you:
Your is defines my notness.

In return,
My otherness highlights you.
I am not one of you,
But I am one, and of you,
And by my aberration,
Your circle knows itself as round.

Hi Tia,
I love the idea that “my otherness highlights you.” In the Gestalt philosophy, they want each of us to be complete, on our own, so that we avoid projections onto the other. But I doubt that is possible. We are all only parts of, none of us comple

nic paton says:

What is your aberration? I cant fathom whether its ironic or whether theres a perverseness that sees union – the circle – as somehow problematic?

But anyway, its a very very good poem.

tia says:

Actually, the meaning is much more straightforward – it’s usually the circle that sees the aberration as problematic! I experience myself as an alien always, marginalised by my inability to conform sufficiently with the mores of any group to which I’m drawn. When difference threatens a group, its sense of its own identity strengthens. In many ways, that seems to be my role. Anyway, seeing it as a contract is one way of making sense of the pain!

Sarah says:

This poem of yours reminds me that all relationships are holy for without others, I cannot experience myself. Not my quirkiness, not my talents, not my aberrations. Long live the dent in the circle that makes it perfectly imperfect say I!

With love, as ever


simon says:

The circle in Chinese cosmogonia represents the Void, Emptiness, Nothingness – WU CHI – but not like in western thinking, it doesn’t produce fear and anxiety because it is considered the Beginning of All. The WU CHI is transformed by the TAI CHI (Supreme and Ultimate Creative Principle) into YIN and YANG, the energies creating and moving life.
My jewish-chinese therapist used to says: Empty doesn’t mean “nisht a yin und nisht a yang”.
Making a paraphrase of Sarah’s:”that all relationships are holy”, I would say that all relations are also hol(e)y, and that’s what we have to fill again and again. (Sisiphic? No, challenging!)
Simon(without Garfunkel).

Though not familiar with the language of poetry, I respond to a deep truth expressed in this one – “Contract.” It brings up thoughts of the idea in Gestalt psychology where the aim (only a theoretical one) is for each of us to be complete without the other; to be free of the dependence on the other. Until that is achieved we live in constant anger and disappointment at the other who fails to define us as “round.”

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