Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Lesson By Dante

I am finishing The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. It is a light read about a woman and her journey in her twenties, where she came from and where she is going. It's the type of book that a person can get through in a few days. It is the type of book that a person can read and not think twice about...with one exception. In the book, a character tries to enlighten the main character by sharing what Dante defines as Hell...

Hell is proximity without intimacy.

Is it just me or is that powerful to anyone else?

If we step back and think about our relationships, how many of us are living in this special type of Hell? Not that I have some deeper insight into the human heart than anyone else, but I certainly have insight into my own process. I can't stand relationships without intimacy. It doesn't fit like a tight high heel shoe doesn't fit. I want to fix it, get intimate, connect until it does fit.

I shared this idea with a few people. They either felt the importance and implications in their own lives or they completely dismissed it. I am not talking about the physical intimacy between two people, but rather, the emotional intimacy between two people. This intimacy can ebb and flow too. I have had relationships where the friendships and feelings are so important and strong that a day doesn't pass without talking or listening to them. Then, with that same friendship, time passes quickly, without a notice that you no longer feel the need to talk things over with him/her.

Maybe the worst kind of Hell is the kind where a person reaches and gives of themselves to have intimacy with a person...friend, family, colleague...and there is no one there who wants to receive it. Is the giver in Hell? Or is that person who refuses the connection?


Courtney said...

Love this blog, Sara. I think Dante hit a nerve with this because, if you further break this idea down, what is a relationship without emotional intimacy? It's kind of a void or vacuum. However, the catch is that this Hell can only be defined by those who have the desire for intimacy; thus, those who perpetuate the Hell are those who are indifferent towards the trend of mere proximity.

Sorry. Had to drop my two cents...you did a great job with this one.

jonasdavid said...

I look at this on a different level. I don't believe in hell after life. I don't believe that God would create man and not accept him back after death. I think that proximity without intimacy is hell on earth. When you die you will go to heaven because you have lived hell. All of the people that kill and major things like that have some sort of mental problem--most likely related to proximity without intimacy. Others cannot identify, therefore declairing them crazy or evil and say they will go to hell. People are too quick to judge. Did you ever think that they are living their hell?

Ok, if I am going to write on here I should really change from my son's blog ID, it looks kinda crazy when I am talking about hell.

szoszo said...

Hey just a quick question which is sort of unrelated: didn't they establish in the story that this quote is not actually by Dante? I haven't read anything by Dante so I wouldn't know. Thanks in advance!

michael said...

I agree that proximity without intimacy only applies to those who yearn for intimacy but I have no doubt that on the judgment day when we see God and have no more doubts we will overwhelmed by his love and thirst for the intimacy more thank anything else.