Family and Relationships
The woman in my dream was tall, very tall, and young, very young, and happy, very happy. But what’s the difference if she was nineteen or twenty-nine or thirty-nine? What’s the difference if she was six feet tall or seven feet tall or as tall as a redwood in the forest of an old man’s longing?
A ghastly light from the street lamp lay in a long shaft from one window to the door. Gabriel threw his overcoat and hat on a couch and crossed the room towards the window. He looked down into the street in order that his emotion might calm a little. Then he turned and leaned against a chest of drawers with his back to the light. She had taken off her hat and cloak and was standing before a large swinging mirror, unhooking her waist.
Outside my bedroom window the trees are wrapped in fog. Silvery threads of rain coat the glass. It’s not yet dawn, and I don’t know why I’m awake. I rub my eyes, pulling the sheet closer around my shoulders as I sink back into bed. And then I remember: the 5 AM check. I push aside the covers, grab my glasses, and glance at the clock: 4:55. I’ve awakened before the alarm. Trained.
It’s still dark when the muezzin calls for Fajr, the first prayer of the day. I’ve already been awake for a couple of hours: lying in bed, not thinking, not trying not to think, just taking in the predawn sounds of this utterly foreign city, Doha, the capital of Qatar. Our house faces Al Shamal Road, a long highway that snakes across the country from the northern coastline to the southern border with Saudi Arabia.
Esther Perel on Intimacy, Infidelity, and Desire in Long Term Relationships
People come to me because their spouse isn’t making them happy. I don’t think any of our grandparents would have considered that a reason to seek therapy. A passionate relationship in which we ask for novelty and mystery from the same person we look to for security and stability — that is a grand new invention in the history of humankind.
How can you help remembering it, all of it, when Christmas comes? Christmas is like drowning and seeing your life before your eyes. Every year — and it’s the darkest week of the year — someone strings lights on a tree, and you stand in front of it with whoever or whatever is supposed to make you happy. And you smile, maybe in honest, naked joy, or maybe you fake it because you got an umbrella.