I am in Oxford. Taking another training in couples therapy.
It’s been pouring rain since the morning, but during the lunchtime sky has cleared. The street with shop windows and cafes is shimmering bright from colorful Christmas decoration. People passing by are rushing somewhere, with someone or around something. I am sitting on the bench in front of the Christ Church College while taking pictures of the clouds. I am taking pictures of white stuff, or better „hot air“ instead of the building.
It makes me think of Monet and his present exhibition in Albertina… not of any particular painting… it’s rather Monet’s quote from 1895 that jumps into my head: „Other painters“, he wrote „paint a bridge, a house, a boat . . . I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat . . . the beauty of the light in which they exist“.
Wow I thought. Monet really ‘got’ that awesome stuff what we need to look for and be aware of in our relationships. It’s the „hot air“, the unique memory of moments…
Monet really got the essence of what I am trying to do in my couple‘s therapy. I am not interested in bridges or houses or boats, as it were, either. I am not interested in solutions for the couples problems but in the lives within which those solutions exist – effortlessly, naturally and obviously, the air, in other words, within which they take on life.
What does couple‘s therapy have in common with a Monet Painting?’
Wait for it. Wait foooor it.
And the answer is:
They both contain a lot of hot air.
They both are just „white stuff“.
Monet painted the House of Parliament in a foggy morning in London. One cannot recognize the form of the building. And it’s a unique masterpiece – painted repeatedly in different weather conditions. If Monet stayed in London, he would have produced the same image again and again (as he had done his Gardens in Giverny.)
Every relationship that we choose has a great dynamics, because when we feel connected, interact, laugh, talk, argue, we experience that „hot air“. It can seem foggy, frosty, or sometimes it’s the Toscana air shimmering with colors.
Can you remember what that awesome „hot air“ felt like in the moment you discovered that someone was enjoying being around you?
Tell them. In details.