by Khalil Gibran
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
by Henry Nouwen
… we are encouraged to explore our communicative capacities and experiment with many forms of physical, mental and emotional contact, we are sometimes tempted to believe that our feelings of loneliness and sadness are only a sign of lack of mutual openness.
Sometimes this is true and many sensitivity centers make invaluable contributions to the broadening of the range of human interactions. But real openness to each other also means a real closeness, because only he who can hold a secret can safely share his knowledge.
When we do not protect with great care our own inner mystery, we will never be able to form community. It is this inner mystery that attracts us to each other and allows us to establish friendship and develop lasting relationships of love.
An intimate relationship between people not only asks for mutual openness, but also for mutual respectful protection of each other’s uniqueness.