The truth is that you can never really know.
The space between us, we can never know. We like to think we can develop our sensitivity, that we can belong to groups and in relationships, but we can never know anyone outside of ourselves.
It was late April, a lovely spring afternoon in Boston. Neither of us had any more work left to do for school, so we went for a walk to Arnold Arboretum. We didn’t walk for long, but decided to settle in. We placed a blanket under a willow tree. I sat with my back against the tree, and she lay down with her head in my lap. We sat in silence for a while. I brought a book of poetry to read, she slept for a short time. When she woke, I read her something from the book I was reading, a section from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower by William Carlos Williams:
Of Asphodel, that greeny flower,
like a buttercup
upon its branching stem-
save that it’s green and wooden-
I come, my sweet,
to sing to you.
We lived long together
a life filled,
if you wil,
with flowers. So that
I was cheered
when I first came to know
that there were flowers also
We can never know. We can never know how others preceive us. Sometimes it feels we can, that we can feel connections, electricity, a shared life between us. Wanting to know – wanting to understand and to be understood – is where the real meaning lies. Sometimes it feels like there are currents between us.