The wipe of lipstick from the man you’ve just kissed, or who refuses the wipe to publicly parade his delight in the dalliance,
The time graced between two siblings to sit on a sunny afternoon and chat without boundary or brass and be in the deity of the day,
And the late-night message from a colleague you adore working with, giving you a last crumb of information that’s vital to your work …
Acts of intimacy are more than those shared between two people indulging in sex, no matter how sensual, passionate or lustful. It isn’t only within the tantalising kiss and touch in pulsing pep and pizzazz, teetering on the tips of goose bumps upon goose bumps. While wonderful and glorious and erogenously insatiable, intimacy is more than that. Much more.
Intimacy is in the sharing of toast in the tranquil of sunshine reflecting off aquamarine seas, and the chasing after your lunch partner’s napkin that’s blown onto the floor.
It’s in that ultimate kiss where the son smacks purposeful lips on his mother’s forehead, a symbol of protection and guardianship, and in her flicking through his shine and tangle of mess and curls for no reason other than him being close by. Because she can.
It’s in the exchange of clasped hands where skin on skin is silky soft as polished surfaces sliding surreptitiously, smoothed from any tiny ridges and valley patterns that may beetle from fingers and palms.
Intimacy is the powerful exchange between friends over late night text after a long, long day, in the knowing that they have your back. Always. It’s in the familiarity and friendship, affinity and affection.
Intimacy is at its most striking when a parent must carry a sick adult-son whose death is imminent, and the son giving in to his need for dependent care.
That deep intimacy when stripped bare, exposes vulnerability, as a heart skinned to its core. It’s in the unconditional exchange that comes on the tail of desire to give, to protect beyond every conceivable boundary.
But that poses a risk and to some, it’s a huge peril they can’t overcome or see as the waiting monster ready to latch onto their feet and drag them well down into the depths of despair. Opening up and being vulnerable to the intimacy unlocks a siphoning window to being hurt, undoubtedly, because it’s allowing a freedom to feel and connect with others.
As with most things, stepping back to see what’s what, smelling the roses if you like or watching the severed tops of an old olive tree hacked back with a chainsaw to a few thick limbs coming off the smooth, grey trunk, stark of olives and foliage, watching it bask in the autumn sun as if reaching for nourishment of its new growth. Taking that pause to reflect … it’s one of the graces we’re gifted with that we sometimes forget we have.
Appreciation. Introspection, being honest and grateful for days so full of everything, even if the everything is clogged in feelings of despair or memories that bleed from shattered hearts as rain blanketing in thundering storms. Intimacy if it’s permitted, allows for a debauchery of vulnerability that can ripple into forever as the most glorious, fabulous and wonderful,
As the most intricate spider’s web laced in early morning dew,
And the first flush of begonias hanging as fleshy flowers like little chandeliers, in all shades of the artist’s palette.
The key is to be open to it, allow the intimacy to stream in. Accept the risk, for the rewards are immeasurable.
Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.