Friday, August 19, 2011

Naming


A friend came over last weekend and we started talking about the different types of people in our lives. There are lovers, friends, acquaintances, partners, colleagues, bosses, church people, school friends, and the list goes on and on.

Her question to me was this: why do we need to categorize them? Why must my interactions fall within a previously defined parameter? Why can't I let each relationship grow and flower in an organic way as each person brings something to the mix? Why must I slot each interaction into a formula or category I am familiar with?

Can you be a lover without physical intimacy? The monks would say, yes, definitely. Can you be a friend to someone you don't know? Yes, compassion and kindness don't have a minimum interaction quota. I think we do others and ourselves a disservice by boxing them into certain accepted ways of relating. And probably the person we are most guilty of doing this with is God.

Lord, deliver me from my desire to name, categorize, and thereby, limit.

This is a photo I took on the university shuttle bus. You can see the plastic blue seat and the matching upholstery in the forefront and my feet slightly out of focus on the floor. An odd combination, but very right at the time.

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