Mystery of Relationship

“How did Marcellus and her meet?”
”I don’t know. However people meet people.”

This line from Pulp Fiction is overlooked by almost everyone. To most it seems like a short, sarcastic reply to an honest question. I think there’s more here than what’s going on in the words, not intentionally, but still present. This quote exposes something about relationships. Often, one of the first things someone asks a couple is, “how did you two meet?”. It’s often a question that many find very interesting, not only to the circumstances of the first encounter but the evolution of the relationship from that encounter. Most find delight in hearing what they have to say.
I think this stems from the mysterious properties of relationship. Relationship with other persons is a mystery at its heart. In knowing more about a person, getting to know them, you start to understand the other. Each person is infinite in their person, containing within themselves the Image of God. No person can be known exhaustively from this, each of us contains the infinite within ourselves. To know a person is to explore that infinite aspect of the human person. This is what relationship means.

In marriage, this becomes even more intimate. It is the deepest bond one person can share with another. Mind, body, soul are all shared with each other. In what manner or criteria do you pick the one to enter into this kind of intimacy with? How on earth am I to meet such a person? For those who have answered these questions, it becomes interesting to ask others how they did themselves. To those that haven’t, they look to find ways of answering them themselves through others experiences. Two strangers, not ever meeting or coming into contact, find one another and end up in the most intimate of relationships. This is a mysterious thing, one that invokes wonder in us. It’s wondrous that there are so many different, strange, unrelated stories that bring these people together. Not one relationship will mirror another in dynamic or story.

In asking these questions, wanting to know how people have met, we expose a deep seated intuition about relationships. We understand, even implicitly, how mysterious this process really is. We betray our modern talk of relationships in this way. We hear things like, ‘it’s just a fling’, or ‘it’s just physical’, cheapening the value of romantic relationships we are engaged with. This is a contradiction. Though we would sometimes like to think that these kins of relationships are easy to break, easy to make, just fun, etc, we betray what we inherently want in relationship. This kind of denial is rampant in society, we suffer because of it. The mystery and depth of relationship, the awareness of the thing, still exists in us, otherwise we wouldn’t ask the questions we do. In this mystery, we grow closer to another, love the person, and come closer to becoming a human person as it was meant to be. The kind of cheap closeness we sometimes settle for eats us alive, for it is not what we seek. Let us always seek true relationship with people, romantic and otherwise, never settling for the cheap kind the world would have us swallow.

~ by Barky on May 4, 2010.

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