Devorah Tarrow, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
“The Trouble in Marriage about Closeness & Remoteness—& the Aesthetic Answer” will be the subject of the Understanding Marriage! class on Saturday, June 11th, from 11 AM-12:30 PM. Aesthetic Realism consultants—including Barbara Allen and Anne Fielding—conduct this monthly class, the basis of which is in the following statement by Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism: “Marriage is a means for liking the world through a person. Too often, though, marriage is a contemptuous exclusion of the world.”
Even as wives and husbands do things together and worry about each other, and even as there is physical closeness, many a wife has had the pained feeling that there is a remoteness between herself and her husband. Meanwhile, many a husband feels his wife doesn’t want him to know what’s within her mind, and isn’t interested in what’s within his. Aesthetic Realism asks this central question: Is there something a woman needs to see about a desire in her to keep herself hidden and apart—a desire that’s an aspect of contempt?
Wonderfully informative and spirited discussions take place at the Understanding Marriage! classes, and on June 11th these sentences from Mr. Siegel’s Preface to his essay The Ordinary Doom will be taken up:
The large inward catastrophe of today is: We let ourselves be pleased by and do what we can to please a person we still want to hide from, we still do not fully respect. The one way we can fully respect a person is to feel that that person deserves wholly to know us and it would be good for us to know that person.
To know a person is to know the universe become throbbingly specific. It is always the universe on two feet, with two eyes, and an articulate mouth. It is the universe we want to skip.
It is liberating for a woman to learn that there is a desire in her to be hidden and keep an inner self apart from her husband. Each woman will be understanding that her deepest desire is to like the world, including through wanting to know her husband and be known by him. And she will learn that to want to know with depth and eager interest who another person is, means seeing how he is “the universe on two feet.” The meaning of this will come alive in the class. The result?—greater closeness between two people, and a feeling of love and romance the likes of which they haven’t known before!