Sunday, September 24, 2006

# 184 THE ART OF MYSTICISM

Don’t we just spend most of our lives searching for ways to make ourselves more attractive? It’s the thing that we hope will single us out so we will be picked as the most desirable mate, employee, mother, model, or citizen without having to jump up and down with hand in the air yelling, “Pick me, pick me.” And even those who swear they neither want or need approval are engaged in the hunt. For women the hunt is often for fashionable clothing, a flattering hairdo, longer eyelashes, or fingernails, or a way to lose a few pounds or gain a few pounds, or even surgery that will enhance breasts, lips, noses, or some other minor body flaw.

But in our yen to be more attractive, do we really know what ‘attractive’ means? Too many think the best word that describes ‘attractive’ is ‘sexy’. Not so, the best that describes attractive is ‘pleasing to the eye and charming to the mind’. And that latter part, that ‘charming to the mind part’, is the clincher.

Now this search to be more attractive is no different from the physical search for a lost or misplaced pen or scissors. The harder we look, the less we see. And eventually when we find the missing item, we have to kick ourselves because it was right under our noses during the whole of the frustrating search.

What hampers us most in our quest to be attractive is the irrevocable damage when we become too scientific, too fact-orientated, too hard-wired to find delight in fantasy, and humor in minor agitation. Science is hard on an imagination. There is no humor to be found in the context of cold hard facts that ultimately lead to the embattlements of whom is right and who is wrong.

So often it is said that if you want to a relationship to survive, you have to maintain a certain amount of mysticism. It is believed that is at the root of sustainable relationships.

And so, with our flat and scientific minds, we ask ‘How can I possibly do that? This man I am married to for thirty years has already seen me at my worst – without my teeth, without my clothes, or in slovenly robes and Medusa hair. I don’t know how, in such a climate, to retain the magnetism of mysticism.’

Well, actually it’s easy. Now I can’t say this is a general rule but in my mind I suspect it is. I’ve read enough books where despite a wealth of physical flaws, he still loved her for her mysticism – her simplicity, naiveté, sweet totally trusting nature, or imagination. These are the things that play a magic roll in relationships. So in my life, though often slovenly and unkempt, after more than thirty years of marriage, I still retain the magnetism of a bit of mysticism. So shall I tell you my secrets?

My mysticism takes the form of occasional genuine stupidity. Or the form of pretended “I don’t get it” and pleas for Hub’s wisdom(?). Or letting him be right though I know he is wrong. Sometimes it takes the form of a garish display of helpless dependency, and sometimes the form of smooth spiced-up gravy to go with his mashed potatoes.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dick said...

Another perpsective from the distaff side. When I was a child, my father had a good friend in the town cobbler, Chas Bishop. Chas was a squat, short-limbed, scrub-haired man with a
Jean-Paul Sartre astigmatism & a limp. No Adonis, he. And yet one lunchtime my mother said, a little wistfully, "Now, Chas Bishop - there's an attractive man". I was astonished. "So what's the appeal?" I demanded. "He listens", Mum answered.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

dick, I enjoyed that amusing wee anecdote. Assumptions obviously can't be made that beauty is all without taking into consideration other charms with equal appeal.

1:57 PM  

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