Bridging Opposites PDF Print E-mail

The great physicist David Bohm said,  "The opposite of a small truth is a falsehood.  The opposite of a great truth is another great truth."  When human beings grow creatively, they learn to  step out of categories such as either or and begin to see the world in terms of "both/and."    Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum affirms this necessity by explaining  "Reality, and life within it, is a dance, a conversation, a series of echoes;  that is the meaning of being alive instead of dead.  Your heart as it pumps knows that."  Polarities can be viewed as opposites, but another way of looking allows them to be related, thus, inseparable.  When you begin to understand that the relatedness of opposites in writing produces creative tension, your writing takes on new life.  Below are two examples:
Wednesday was a day of possibilities
with turned into a day of necessities
and I’m angry with it for the betrayal.
The day dawned sunny and warm,
the hours ahead were unstructured
and seducing me into supposing that I
had control. But no.
Each time I sat to write,
looking forward to the discovery of myself,
anticipating the possibilities-to-come from my pen,
Something Happened.
Thetelephonerang, the dogtothevets,
thereweredishestowash, laundrytofold,
and the teenagerscarwouldntstart.
It’s 3:30 now, the day remains warm and bright,
Everyone’s gone and the work is done.
But something has gone out of me.
All the “possibilities” have been
wrung, driven, washed, folded out of my being.
I sit with “necessities” weighing me down.    --Maureen Girard

            Cry/weep – I don’t do either very often lately. I used to cry, but if I begin again, I suspect that I’ll weep. Crying is for the young, for infants and adolescents. It is often, perhaps at first primarily, a call for attention – “I’m hungry,, I’m set, I’m in pain, I’m distraught, I’m angry” (oh yes, especially for women – we cry when we’re angry;  (I suspect that men get angry when they want to cry), “I’m depressed, I’m going to kill myself – help me, do something about it, pay attention to me.
    Weeping, I think is more real and more grown up. There is nothing historic about weeping. Weeping is sustained, sincere, and often silent. We weep when the pain is beyond anyone else’s help.
            Jesus wept.     --Student