I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

October 22nd, 2011

Rainy Friday Autumn Night Apple Cider Candlelight

“Intimacy” is a word the relationship experts use a lot, but I have yet to hear defined. Though some use it as a code word for the physical relationship between a man and a woman, it’s got to mean more than that. The concept is just so sweet, so juicy, so elusive. Like an overripe piece of fruit at summer’s end, it feels squishy just to think it, let alone bite into it: “Intimacy”. The consonants sizzle like the first touch of warm skin; the vowels rise and fall like they are gasping for air; and the way the syllables jiggle together, they mimic the chimes of a xylophone; one note reverberating into the other.

One thing I do know about it: pure intimacy is as rare as it is rich.

Days and years can pass without experiencing the real thing, even when the Object of Intimacy — the only creature that can satisfy our magnificent craving — is nearly constantly at hand. The conditions have to be just so, nurtured by design or fate, and then, like sleep, it comes on very gradually, spontaneously, unexpectedly. Two people, at the same moment, have to want nothing more than to pull the covers over their heads and conspire there, breathing on each other in the tent of complete trust: silently agreeing, absolutely knowing, that every thought and act is safe forever from the glare of the world outside themselves.

Last night was one of those nights for us. And, of course, I can’t blab, I mean – blog, about it or I would be violating the prime directive of intimacy; the universe would starve me for a long time after such an infraction; my loved one would drop the rope that binds us together and who could blame him?

In the glow of the morning-after, it is sad to think about Intimacy-Deprivation: an epidemic; a long drawn-out famine in today’s tell-all, bare-all world. Couples get tangled up in a tornado of a have-all, do-all, know-all, and the wrestle to extricate themselves from the mayhem — to find peace in a storm-cellar that they dig and defend together — takes a lot of commitment, a lot of loyalty, a lot of deference, a lot of restraint…and then,

spontaneous combustion.

And when it happens – when “I understand / You understand”, “I accept / You accept” ignites the dross of routine loneliness and love whips up suddenly like a bushfire – that’s when the buried marriage explodes into the light so that lovers are reconnected, rejuvenated, restored to their original state.

The whole process is all sort of mysterious: first of all, because no one can explain or predict exactly how it happens, and second of all because no one can share much about it when it DOES happen. I wish there were fool-proof instructions (we usually fail at intimacy, by the way, because we ARE fools), but since you have to build your own bonfire, and I assume you want to, I’ll go out on a limb and share just a few innocent suggestions. Come closer, so I can whisper.

  A rainy Friday. An autumn night. Apple cider. And candlelight.

Hint of Romance

Intimacy is THE most nutritious food for lovers – feast on it.

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Bri z says:

    You should have been an literary critic. Your dissection of the word intimacy is textbook! But your conception of intimacy puts you up there with the poet/ prophets. I’ll add a non rhyming ingredient to your recipe however…


  2. Sara Lyn says:

    I love those moments of intimacy. We often have a hard time getting to sleep on time because something about being in bed, reading scriptures late at night promotes intimate talks. It is SO FUN to talk about the scriptures and whatever that leads us to every night. Not good for our sleeping habits, but great for our marriage! :) I’ve also thought about something you blogged about a long time ago, which is that doing something different builds a relationship. I think it also builds intimacy to sometimes get out of the routine. It stops one from getting so mechanical about the relationship which can kill intimacy if you’re not careful!

    • Sara Lyn says:

      I’ve been thinking about this comment a lot and wanted to add that routine also builds intimacy. It’s a balance between routine (which lets us know a person well) and getting out of routine (which helps us not get stuck in a one-dimensional relationship). It seems like EVERYTHING is about balance, no?! :)

  3. Sarah E. says:

    I feel sad for the way physical intimacy is portrayed and experienced for so many. What a deception!
    I love the way Elder Holland described it (in part): a “moral schizophrenia that comes from pretending we are one, sharing the physical symbols and physical intimacy of our union, but then fleeing, retreating, severing all such other aspects–and symbols–of what was meant to be a total obligation, only to unite again furtively some other night or, worse yet, furtively unite with some other partner who is no more bound to us, no more one with us than the last was or than the one that will come next week or next month or next year or anytime before the binding commitments of marriage…”
    The sacred intimacy described in this post is certainly the opposite!

  4. Suzanne says:

    Your ability to paint a picture with words continually amazes me. Beautifully said. I hope to be like you when I grow up!

  5. Sarah E. says:

    On a different note, I have heard one doctor of marriage suggest taking an intentional approach to physical intimacy. That looks different for everyone, but his point was that in the demands of profession, parenthood, service, and life challenges, physical intimacy can get away from us, the very foundation of our relationship. Whether you take action to preserve the creativity and energy of spontaneity or calendar in the day, every marriage needs to be nourished by the act of sexual intimacy.
    That’s just how I feel about it anyway.

  6. Rebekah says:

    Looking at the fire and thinking of cider makes me want to go camping by the beach!
    I enjoyed how you put intimacy into perspective. I think too many people in our culture think of it in 2 different ways: “try it before you buy it” way or its a very bad thing. so when it comes time for that special moment its hard and some women lock themselves away and cry, or they’ve “tried” it so many times that it doesn’t mean the same…
    nicely put!

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