Look Alive

14 May 2011

...Right, Y'all

The purpose of ritual for men is to learn the rules of power and competition. Watching sports together, for example, they see the formal enactment of ritual, become loyal to a team, learn to conceal their vulnerability. The purpose of ritual for women (going to lunch together, sharing a favorite salon, etc.) is to learn how to make human connections. They are often more intimate and vulnerable with one another than they are with their men, and taking care of other women teaches them to take care of themselves. In these formal ways, men and women domesticate their emotional lives. But their strategies are different, their biological itineraries are different. His sperm needs to travel, her egg needs to settle down. It's astonishing that they survive happily at all.
Diane Ackerman, U.S. poet, author. "The Battle of the Sexes," A Natural History of Love, Random House (1994).
A recent assignment encouraged me to revisit longstanding thoughts about the intersection of language & health before and since my "Benediction". Ritual, mentioned for its use in the above quote, sometimes has negative connotations and uses, but here purely describes the condition of the vehicles driving our regular thoughts, words and deeds. How do the things we think, say and do daily make us well or ill? How do the narratives affect another and 'ourstory' at-large? 

In the light research process, I stumbled upon four centuries of thoughts like Ackerman's and a little, online quiz based upon Dr. Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages and took it to break the study's monotony, learning in print what I knew about myself: gifts and nice words can be sweet, but the right actions, closeness (or staying away until the 'noise' level is decent with respect to the fact that certain bonds makes even silent Truth terribly loud enough) and quality of time spent truly speak human love to me. After all, God doesn't always communicate Life seasons to us in flowers and sunshine. Rain, cold and the shedding of leaves bear valid messages also.

As I believe the Most High's original intentions for relations between the sexes were not in battle, my sharing break here wasn't meant to be a lengthy one. If you like, learn your and your partner's love language(s) as we all discern God's daily conversations with us. If there must be a battle, knowing is half of it, to paraphrase the cartoon G.I. Joe. It is the harmless understanding and application of what you learn through the wisdom of God -- free of selfish ulterior motives -- that help* make us whole.

* video of a beautiful favorite by Amel Larrieux from 2000's Infinite Possibilities