Mysterious Human Mirror

mirror mirror - February 11, 2013m
 

The best advice regarding how to relate to women…

…came to me via Michael Crichton.

Yes, that Michael Crichton—the late author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain.

I found the sage advice in his nonfiction book, Travels*.  I don’t have the book in my hands right now, but basically, his message was: “Don’t think of women as being so different from yourself.”

Well, that makes sense.  Yes, there are differences, but do those differences outweigh what we hold in common?  If nothing else, we both have heads and hearts.  We both struggle to understand this world—to cope.

That said, I suppose I will always see women as The Other.  Even though my close friendships have generally been with women, Woman will always be The Other…

No matter how well I know the woman across from me, she will always seem a little more mysterious than the man across from me…

And yet, ironically, that woman across from me—whether she be wife, friend, lover, associate, or passing encounter—is the better mirror…

The man across from me is a mirror too, but with a woman the reflection has a greater intensity…

I don’t know how this magic works—I doubt I’ll ever know.  But that’s alright: I want such wonderful secrets in my life.

All I can say is what I’ve experienced: through a woman, I can know more of myself than I can through a man…

As I respond to her, as she responds to me, she reveals myself to me…

…and to my amazement, she performs this magic without even trying.

However, I need to remember that The Other across from me is also a human being.  If I don’t, I’ll feel alienated—she’ll feel alienated.

It’s ironic: to enjoy the mystery, I must relate to that woman as if she’s a human being not so different from myself—as Crichton advised.

Crichton wasn’t a prophet, but why limit ourselves?—I think we should include some version of his advice in our new mythology…

What about: “Yes, I am different from you, but if you want to understand me better, don’t think of me as so very different.”

(* In this autobiographical book, Crichton defines “travel” very broadly—for example, he includes his “trip” through med school.  But he also tells of overseas trips—in terms of lessons learned.  Recommended.)

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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