Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A balance of opposites

Sitting at coffee yesterday morning, we found ourselves chatting about the way we humans are attracted to opposites. We were talking mostly about relationships, but I think it applies in lots of other areas -- mostly because, searching for a photograph to share this morning, this was the one that leaped out.

It was taken in Eastern Washington, a world hugely different from ours, despite the fact that we're in the same state.  Their temperature, unlike ours, ranges from extreme heat to extreme cold.  Our colors are the muted tones of the rain forest -- blues and grays and greens -- while theirs offer the stark dry golds and deep blue skies of the desert.

I know from experience that there are places that call to our souls, that feel unmistakeably like home -- even if they're nowhere near where we grew up: I felt that kind of immediate affinity with Shaw Island, and with the house we live in now.  But -- for me, at least -- there is an almost biological imperative to experience "other:" to explore thoughts and feelings and places vitally different from the familiar paths of mind and home.

Which is why, though I love my home, I get those occasional urges to travel: I've been itching to go back to Santa Fe for years now.  Which is why, when I find myself particularly entrenched in a community with a rather Democratic political stance, I do my best to stay in conversation and keep relationships alive with my Republican friends.  And I suspect it's why I married my husband, who despite our shared values is my opposite in so many ways -- fascinated by history, politics, computers, science and math when I am drawn to music, literature, art and theater; athletic when I am not; uninterested in anything to do with spirituality or contemplation... The balance, I think, keeps us both sane: we never run the risk of getting set in our thinking!

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