There’s a sculpture of two white birds that rests on my desk. Milky marble that rests suspended in their wings, perched with their beaks in an almost touch. From whichever angle, it appears that they are physically together. Yet look closer—there’s a blade of air that slices a space between them. The gap that is not wide enough to fit a finger, seems to them like the infinite horizon. But if the sculpture had their beaks touch, I could say there’s tragedy in that too, for they connect forever. The lightness of a bird’s flight held down by the captivity of its lover or by the chiseler’s hands. Perhaps that’s the tragedy in physical objects incapable of mastering space. We, however, have some control over our bodies.
Yet is this a blessing? How absurd is it that we have a body at all! This nonphysical existence that is our consciousness seems to have attached a lump of bloody flesh to it. Yes, perhaps there is beauty in the human body; the suppleness of breasts, the slender grace of an arm, or the stories held in the wrinkles of a hand. But this beauty can become too tantalizing. What do they serve emotionally? What parts of a physical connection can manifest into an emotional one? Is it the inevitable reality that kisses so tender does not equate to emotional intimacy? If a breath can lift those strands of thought out through your hair, I’d breath in and hold my breath, until your mind leaps into mine. Oh if it were so simple.
Many times we grab each other, seeking something in that human blood and flesh. Pressing my body against yours, as if something could flow between us. That liquid we exchange during a kiss, the light that holds the gaze of our eyes, the air that was once part of your chest, particles uncountable all intermingle and collide. Yet what does that do? Two glistening palaces of thought rests on the same pillow, arms and legs intertwined, absorbed in the existence of the other, remaining all the while, alone.
Sing to me, she whispers. I let her hear the pulses of my mind, the source of my sound waves, those waves that fill her ears and reach her mind. These waves fill the room, crashing against the walls, ready to burst. Such thoughtful eyes, such comforting breath, such loneliness.
Can minds reach each other? Or are they doing too much reaching, and not enough receiving? If I stare at a wall, this barrier of emotional intimacy, how do I know there is something on the other side? What if we are on the same side, holding hands yet staring at the face of a wall? Yet holding hands says nothing about the closeness of minds. They could be very much floating elsewhere. Then how can distance between two nonphysical things be quantified? Perhaps the mistake is the effort to quantify it in the first place. What’s more, before I know the distance between two things, at least I should know what these two things are. Yet that I do not know.
Talk about the complexity of just one human consciousness. Now add another. No, conversation is not an example, because speech is crafted. There’s no purity in that when thoughts have been filtered and distilled. Perhaps conversations are the interactions of the projections of consciousness, but never pure consciousness themselves. Is that the fullest extent of emotional intimacy? Can consciousness not just simply be connected, as absurd as it seems, through some wire in which thoughts flow? Reproduction by conjugation.
Writing, perhaps, is a solution. If two people both master the technique of writing and reading streams of consciousness, it could perhaps work. Boxes of consciousness, aha, might work better. They would not only include writing, but also music, objects, textures, smells, and so on, all as attempts to grapple with our consciousness. Yet these would all be recollections of the conscious gone by, a distorted vision into past memories. There is no interaction in the present.
Yet through all this searching, the most fundamental question has not been asked. What am I trying to achieve with emotional intimacy? Perhaps it’s wiser to not be optimistic of possible solutions. Similar to Camus’ philosophy, though we cannot find the answer, we should try nonetheless. But it’s knowing that there is no definite answer, that minds will forever remain separate, that binds the aura of mystery around every human being. Only against the surface of the sadness and pity of such a desolate loneliness, can we perhaps rejoice and cherish the fleeting moments when we do feel such a connection. These connections cannot be forced, because we have no idea what we are forcing, no grasp over the idiosyncrasies of the wandering mind. Look what this desperate search has created. It has made human bodies leap and tremble, the male and female searching each other’s bodies, their faint projections of their consciousness, hair breathing on the face, floating in these tendrils of lust and desire, that pink nipple floating on a sea of milk, a brief flower in time that opens and closes to the passing sun, and those clouds that last forevermore, that hug me in its sheet of mist and leave me to flow in that muddy river of time.