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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let’s Talk – Even When We Can’t

Silences characterise many a struggling relationship, despite the want of one or both to communicate. We do not, however, give up hope.

One of us knows,

And one of us don’t,

Coming to blows,

Is our only hope.

Want for a time,

When all are awares,

Impatience is sublime,

Beyond mutual cares.

Disjointed we seem,

Jelly and glue,

Distances apart,

If only you knew.

Holding out hope,

Silence in the extreme,

Bellowed the note,

All but a dream.

Pushed to despairing,

Beyond thought limit,

Hopeless the pairing,

Light wrought to dim it.

Still is the hope,

Prattled and rumpus,

Longer the rope,

Hold fast the compass.


There are times in many relationships when we’ve despaired for getting through. Like ships passing closely but silently in the night, neither partner has gauge on what the central problem is or how to fix it. Silence becomes them, despite one partner clawing at the other to speak up.

It is generally, though not always, the woman who wants the issues out on the table so they can be deal with truthfully.

In the poem, “coming to blows” doesn’t at all mean fisticuffs. It is really simply a metaphor for having the conflict out, and for generating some vocal jousting as a stimulus for problem solving. Sometimes things can be allowed to get worse before they’ll be allowed to get better.

For many silences, “coming to blows” is at least a hope of getting the issues tabled, though conflict resolution is always best handled between minds and hearts stayed in reason and logic.

“Jelly and glue” seem as dichotomous, as materials go, as chalk and cheese do. This merely gives credence to the fact that for many couples, at times over the course of the relationship, there can be such a wide-ranging polar distancing in individual objectives.

There are perhaps times when we’ve dreamt of meeting the conflict head-on, giving action to the impasse, and as we wake we suddenly realise nothing’s happened. Nothing is fixed.

We may feel all is totally hopeless, and perhaps it is, or even for the foreseeable future.

Still we hope and we pray for ways of communicating with gentle and respectful effect. At such a time as this, even with all our rope of patience let out, it would not be advisable to drop our compass. We keep to our bearing and arm ourselves with the fortitude to endure as patiently as we can.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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