Laying awake, enduring the
hatred of the topsy-turvy status quo,
I put my temple to your
back and can feel your
heart beating and am assured
it is in there somewhere.
My wrongs are your wrongs.
We want to be someplace
other than where we are,
and in so doing we slight God
and the attributes he has
given us both.
We want to love our own
unholy though it may be.
TSTmpj: How do you reconcile the "unholy sacredness" of an intimate relationship with the necessary compromises of life?
Gordon Purkis: I believe we seek an ideal in others that we cannot possibly find in them or in ourselves. As a child I struggled with the concept of a fully-god, fully-human person in the form of Jesus. I felt being made less than perfect was unfair and while I have been largely unaware my whole life of where I come up short (and over-aware of the defects of others), I have in recent years opened myself up to the spiritual by elimination of most forms of mind alteration and the resulting weight of the knowledge of my imperfections has been a difficult hurdle. I feel my failures so much, in particular with my failure to form strong and lasting relationships with others. I must strive to accept the ineptitudes of myself and others, find the love and tolerance for them that I would want for myself. I cannot seem to escape the judgment, either of self or others, and compromise is exactly that, a short cut to an easier way that does not exist, not when I know in my heart how to act, and persisting in sabotaging my own life by allowing my defects to control my actions.
TSTmpj: Are most relationship damages always, necessarily hidden?
Gordon Purkis: Much like a box that arrives on your doorstep you can't be sure of the condition of its contents until you open it. In the search for truth and reality we try to take the subjectivity out of it, which cannot be done. But, I need to strive to be the person who's looking for the person who's looking for me. I don't want to be a chameleon or necessarily go along to get along, but I can say my truth and hold my beliefs, not necessarily be in conflict with others while continuing to work on self in order to create a better environment for those around me. Kind of like the "customer experience" we want to know how your "Gordon" experience is, we value your opinion and will take into consideration your comments. We also don't know the lesson that God is trying to teach us until we have learned it, so in that sense it continues to be a mystery.
TSTmpj: "My wrongs are your wrongs" reminds me of a love sonnet by Pablo Neruda, in which he also alluded to the merging of two selves into one. How far can this merging be taken, for you?
Gordon Purkis: I do not know the Neruda poem but I have found that the errors we spot in others are the errors in ourselves. As relationships go we all mirror one another and in that sense we are all one, but our separateness is what keeps us confused, our personal sovereignty and the lifelong dialogue we have with ourselves creates a story that takes on a life of its own. Other people seem to fit into our story in various ways, some better (for lack of a different word) than others. But I am so far away from true companionship and intimacy with another human being at this stage than I could hope to be. Better than it once was but still distant.
Gordon Purkis, a writer and artist, currently resides in suburban Atlanta, GA. His most recent book Prayerland is available on Amazon.com.