THERE ARE TIMES when the air is clear and bright, and calling out, the intended meaning of your words travels flawlessly across the canyon. A wave of the hand or a subtle smile of the eyes are registered in perfect understanding despite your distance.
Yet, sometimes your view is distorted: a smog of frustration collects over the canyon or a dirty mist of fatigue billows into the space between you and your Other.
THERE ARE TIMES when you call out to your Other in pain or despair, yet their eyes are filled by the blaring bright sun. No matter how intricately you describe your plight, they are adamant that things are great and are in fact getting better.
THERE ARE TIMES when the landscape is thrashed and darkened by storm. You stretch eyes and ears toward your Other but they are blurred by the static of sorrow’s downpour, silenced in thunder-roars of grief. Only in lightening flashes, do you catch the suffering silhouette of your Other upon the opposing canyon rim, and you do not dare get close to that slippery ledge.
And in fact, a Self can never cross all the way over to an Other’s side of the canyon; you cannot stand in their body, you cannot think with their mind, but you can get closer. Indeed, the goal of connecting is to get as close as you can to your Other’s perspective, and to help them get closer to yours.
Yet how? Simply stating your point louder or more forcefully will not collapse the canyon walls together, and leaning out toward your Other in frustration only risks a plunge into the depths. Scheming, strategizing, manipulating your Other into coming closer will just leave you running up and down along the canyon rim, exhausted and unfulfilled, helpless upon an unmoving ledge.
No, to get closer, you must build a bridge between you and your Other, and you must build it together.