21 October 2006

The Ambiguity Dance

The Ambiguity Dance

It all most often starts with the eyes or the ears. The visual recognition of a faces' contours and the body's language, the actions of the eyes, the sound of the voice, etc., leading to a soft touch, usually of the hands. A touch to verify and solidify a connection, that creates a hormonal surge. An infusion of chemicals, like a rocket's highly-combustible fuel, whose sole (soul?) purpose is to lift the heavy vehicle of a relationship off of the ground, escape earthly gravity, to reach outer space, where mutual compatibility can then take over and propel it toward the farthest limits of the galaxy of the knowable. Hormones override and mitigate the many initial missteps and incongruencies that two people often make when getting to know one another.

Once the vehicle has cleared the launch pad, the ambiguity dance begins. The notes erratic, the instruments not finely tuned, some rockets wobble uncontrollably before straightening out, while others run out of fuel and return to earth with a dull, lifeless thud. Some just explode in midair, scattering pieces for miles in every direction.

But with the music having started and the rockets on full power, the battle over control of the steering and the throttle begins in earnest. It is here that the pattern is set for how the ambiguity is to be replaced with the knowledge that leads to trust and cooperation.

Thus Reciprocity becomes a key component in the resolution of the ambiguity dance. One person ventures forth with a sly, bold, or timid assertion, often masked as a query, and the other is faced with the instantaneous pressure of analyzing its nature, (provocative or benign?) and determining the proper response, then executing it deftly. Here is where the chances of a misinterpretation of a moment's hesitation are at their greatest, and can cause severe setbacks or complete and utter destruction. Only immediate subsequent communication, in the form of admitting to confusion and asking for clarification, or hormones can bypass the malfunctioning circuit.

The levels of self-knowledge, confidence in your own judgement, purpose, and execution, form the basis upon which your ability to reciprocate effectively, is determined. Without them you may as well never light the rocket's fuse and attempt to leave the ground, for you, or your potential partner, are crippled, and the odds against success are overwhelming.

If you find yourself in flight, whether purposefully or accidentally, it is at the point where you can begin to see the heavens that your character's flaws and strengths are critical. For in the uppermost reaches of the stratosphere, the differences between self-knowledge and self-delusion are the most difficult to discern, for all but the most wise, mature, and experienced individuals.

But if the attraction is forever burning and the million or so questions of pace, compatibility, content, and commitment are answered, the lessons learned and practiced, and the earth's natural gravitational pull is conquered, then the journey is well on its way to transcending both time and space, accompanied by a melodic, perpetual symphony. The hormones and ambiguity will fade to their proper, minute obscurity. But the dancing never ends.

stephen h. smith
FEB23 2003