Posted on April 9, 2017

Intimacy is creating a sacred shared space with one other, or several others. In this space we allow all otherness to fall away. Intimacy is feeling safe and nurtured in the full presence of another human. Intimacy involves willingness to take a risk. We cannot know beforehand what happens when we drop our persona. By exposing ourselves to the gaze of another we can learn how to be free.

Dropping my persona is showing you my original face, is standing naked in your gaze. I can only allow this because I trust you, because I feel safe enough with you. Also I need to feel strong enough to bear the pain, if by incident you wound or hurt me. I am fully aware that accidents may happen, but I trust my ability to repair and recover. I assess the risk I am taking, and I accept it, and I convey to you that I accept it. I accept I can get hurt, I sign to you that I am willing to bear the pain, even if you humiliate me.

In the 1930 Joseph von Sternberg movie Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), Marlene Dietrich seduces a respectable Gymnasium professor who then ends up as a clown in a cabaret, “The Blue Angel”, where he is utterly humiliated.

All images we have of Self are shields and spears. When we decide to drop them all, we decide there is no need for them in the sacred space we co-create. We lay off our weaponry. We sense and trust that the other means no harm. There is relaxation and tranquility to be found here. There is also a heightened sense of awareness. We sense that anything can be shared, that anything might happen between us. Learning to be intimate is teaching each other to be free. In this shared experience of freedom there is great joy. This is the deep reason of the desire for intimacy that we all share.

Intimacy, exciting mix of love and trust and risk. Love daring to express itself. As a poet, I must allow you to get close and I must dare to get close to you. The painter asks you to take off your dress to paint you in the nude. The poet invites you to reveal your inner self, and trust. Next he reveals what he co-creates with you, in his poem.

The following poem was inspired by a brief encounter with a woman during my first circling night, gazing at each other for ten minutes or so, and sharing what we experienced. It describes what could happen between any man and any woman in the circle of wonders that gets co-created when we allow intimacy to happen.

The eyes of a fearless woman

Looking in your eyes, you fearless woman
your daring glances challenge me to be
the deep man I must explore inside of me.

Dangers lurk there, wild images of you as lover
sensing and following the stirs of sweet desire.

Safety too, with ease I sense you as a daughter
and joy explodes and chest expands with immense pride.

Deep peace if I feel your calm eyes, my mother’s
rest on me, and gratitude wells up and overflows.

You’re all of this and more, as every woman is.
To have you with me, here and now, is bliss.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none is the well-known sound advice of Shakespeare. But if we feel that there are few we can trust, then intimacy will remain rare for us, restricted to sharings with a few special ones in our lives. I have decided that it is time now in my life to extend my trust, to express the results, and to share them with all my friends. I deliver myself to your gaze, for I wish to include you all in a shared sacred space.

If the poet has a life partner, as this poet has the good fortune to have, he has to renegotiate the issue of intimacy. My partner – her picture is at the top of this page – is a composer, and she expresses herself first and foremost through music. But she is also gifted with words. Her response, when I showed her The eyes of a fearless woman: “I can sense that she inspired you. I am not a jealous woman, but what I feel about this is not so easy to express, so let me answer with a poem.” Her poem is in Dutch, so some of my readers will have to trust Google translate.

Ik twijfel heus niet aan je trouw
maar als jij met een andere vrouw
zit te genieten in het hier en now
denk ik niet automatisch wow.