12 July 2009

Anaïs Nin on good relationships

I've been reading some non-fiction writing by Anaïs Nin of late. She's someone I have a lot of admiration for, but take with a grain of salt. But I'm finding a lot of gems in her work. A lot to think about, a lot to hope for, a lot to be grateful for.

This is her in the year of my birth on relationships between the 'new women' and the 'new men':
...they prized their relationship, they gave care to it, time attention ... Both wanted to work at something they loved ... Neither one dominated. Each one worked at what they did best, shared labors, unobtrusively, without need to establish roles or boundaries. The characteristic trait was gentleness. There was no head of the house. There was no need to assert which one was the supplier of income. They had learned the subtle art of oscillation, which is human. Neither strength or weakness is a fixed quality. We all have our days of strength and our days of weakness. They had learned rhythm, suppleness, relativity. Each had knowledge and special intuitions to contribute. There is no war of the sexes between these couples. There is no need to draw up contracts on the rules of marriage ... They are both aware of the function of dreams–not as symptoms of neurosis, but as guidance to our secret nature. They know that each is endowed with both masculine and feminine qualities.
('In Favour of the Sensitive Man', 1974)

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