Radical Otherness

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Tal of the light and the morning dew. Acting. Finding a character. The Explorer archetype. The Fool. The Hermit.  The Window. Art hung. More donations taken. Robin and Michele. A blue Sky Sunlit Lodgepole and Aspen Mountain Morning. Maxwell Creek. Cub Creek. Kate’s Creek. Bear Creek. Shadow Brook. All full and roaring, muddy. Black Mountain, a gentle curve against the western Sky. Shadow Mountain beneath me. The night Sky. The Atlantic Ocean. The Bay of Fundy. Robbitson, Maine.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The repetition exercise from Meisner

One brief shining: Acting requires living truthfully in an imaginary situation according to Stanford Meisner Tal says which made me wonder with the sensory mediation of reality with which we all experience each other and the world if living in what we each insist on calling reality does not require the same.


Read a fascinating article in the New York Times by a couples therapist. Two things stood out for me. The first, which was her main point, is the apparent degree to which the language and conceptual frames of the me-too movement and the Black Lives Matter movement has come to inform how couples see each other. Men and women both have a greater sensitivity to the impact of sexuality on even day to day interactions, at work as well at home. Mixed race couples and couples of color have begun to voice the reality of the daily toll racism takes on their lives and how it can impact their relationships. This is, in my mind, one of the greater positives to come out of both of these movements. When we can begin to alter not only the conversation between each other in intimate relationships, but within our selves, we have the potential for lasting change.

However. That was not the most significant part of the article for me. Orna Gurlick, the author of the article, says the biggest challenge in couples therapy is accepting the radical otherness of your partner. Oh. Yeah. What a thing to say in the context of therapy. And therapy in an intimate relationship, the ones where we know each other better than any other. Or so we like to think.

We are tiny universes, distinctive and self-motivating. Tal last night took us through the 5 questions of acting. Who are you? When and where are you?  What do you want, what gives you meaning? How do you get what you want? What will you do if you get it or don’t get it? The intent of the five questions is to help actors understand that their character must be understood in as fully complicated a way as our own Selves.

Radical otherness sits as close as the chair at the breakfast table or lies next to you in bed. That notion humbles me and excites me. There are aliens among us and we are one, too. At our best we live truthfully in the imaginary situation we create with all the other aliens in our lives. Something to ponder.