You can’t un-ring that bell, Una, and you know it.
Cory and I tried out a game that a friend recommended to us called “…and then we held hands.” It is “a co-operative game about finding balance. To win, the two players must complete objectives and reach the center of the board. The players take turns trying to fulfill the current common emotional objective by discarding emotion cards to move from node to node. They must do this without verbal communication, empathizing and always considering each other’s situation when making a move.”
What makes it especially interesting is that as you advance, you’re forced to end your turn in narrower and narrower circles. So even though you technically have more of the board you’re allowed to use, where you land will put you closer and closer to the other person. Thus giving them fewer and fewer landing spaces in turn. Communication and coordination become progressively more critical, as does the ability to think creatively and be adaptable.
As a metaphor for relationships, I think it’s an interesting one, and oddly appropriate for this interaction between Una and Pakku. As they’ve gotten to know and trust each other more, it’s also put them in each other’s way. They know one another better, meaning they stand more to gain from a friendship, but are also more vulnerable. Their growing familiarity only makes the need to communicate with clarity under stress more critical.
It might be worth mentioning that “…and then we held hands” is a challenging game to win.
I feel like Cory and I have had quite a few moments like that in our relationship. Some big, some small, but always important. Sometime we get in arguments, or have secrets to be carried and shared. Those moments sometimes feel like walking on a knife’s edge, biting my tongue when there are scathing comments I know I shouldn’t say, but my anger wants me to express, or holding my breath wanting to say the right thing to comfort or support, but not being quite sure what the right thing would be. Sometimes the terrible comment comes out anyway (always with a mixture of nasty vindication, immense regret, and sour guilt) or I completely bungle my attempt to be helpful and say the wrong thing. Yet we’ve always managed to work through things, even when it gets really tough, and the desire to storm off grows really strong. I’m a challenging person, but one thing I really love about Cory is he’s always risen to and exceeded that challenge. He’s a brave man that way.
Have you ever experienced that kind of friction in a relationship? Where the closer you get to each other, the more powerful the potential for growth is, but also the more challenge in realizing it? How have you navigated those perilous waters? Or do you have any regrets about a storm that wasn’t weathered?
Phoenix Comic Con!
Cory and I will be at Phoenix Comicon next weekend! If you’re in the area, come visit us in the Artist Alley! We’re listed under Moko Press/Robin & Cory Childs.