'What is the definition of intimacy,' she asked me.
'Definition?' I said, 'of intimacy?' How would one define intimacy? Whereas to me, intimacy is an ocean, a journey among the waves. Sometimes it is a desert, a primordial touch, it is living resources deep within the foundation of the earth. It is the winds, and the blazing sun, sometimes scorching my skin, sometimes lighting my eyes, sometimes warming my body, sometimes baring the abashed nudity of my existence, the stammer and the passion, the words shot as arrows and arrogance as well as those words whispered as prayer.
Intimacy is the voice singing softly a hissed tune. Intimacy is an inwards journey, into myself, between you and I. Intimacy is a safe zone with its doors ajar. Where, in spite of hesitation and shudder, you pass through into an unknown burst.
Intimacy is forged over time, years pass from its birth until it lives safely, somewhat protected and calm, to be who we are, as close to the very bone as can be, our souls exposed, collected in compassion and grace, our sensitivities, our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses brought forth before the chosen one, and he or she learn how to contain and be, maybe even touch.
You see, intimacy is poetry, it's an experience, it is mysterious and elusive, it is moments born sequentially, creating hold points in a chain of deeply-cemented construction, as high and mighty as it is weak, limp and pained.
Intimacy is exposure, gradual exposure. It removes the monitored, synchronized smile and creates uncontrolled lines of facial expression. We are not busy at being beautiful and correct, we forget, for moments, all that's expected or required from us and we let our natural presence surface, without having to think it through or observe it; it just is. It comes into existence when the person before us respects us, sees us as we naturally are. We grant them the right to see us in this form, as we are. Intimacy is forged when our vulnerability, our wounds, our mistakes, are embraced. When tenderness and compassion are stronger and more present than judgement, criticism and righteousness.
Intimacy is giving and receiving, it is a quiet dialogue, in search of a truth emerging from the depth of our existence. That is why it delays as it moves, it closes its eyes shut to see what it feels.
But if you insist on having a definition, here is what I might conclude: intimacy between partners is the ability to open up, to discover and to be discovered, on several levels – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, while maintaining our authenticity and succeeding in being true to ourselves.