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Layers upon layers

Relationships are deep, intricate and incredibly complicated.  Just the relationship between two people constantly operates on multiple layers.  When you add children, the layers multiply.  When you add in-laws, siblings and friends, the layers become exponential.  Comprehending it all can seem like trying to make a symphony out of a cacophony or a Monet out of a Pollock.

A new client tells her story and much is revealed in the sub-text, as much in the way in which her story is approached and massaged as lay in the substance of the story itself.  I'm often accused of clairvoyance.  But the truth is, after 23 years I've gotten a lot of practice at looking at the sky to predict rain. We may all be unique, but we're all unique together.  Little that we do is new under the sun, or in the rain, for that matter.

The story unfolds and for all the world it reads like a Shakespeare plot, a variation on Hamlet, perhaps except that this time it is with Ophelia's eyes.  Still, the drama is recurrent.  The method of unfolding that drama is principally etched long before it is acted.  The players' parts are inscribed, perhaps in their DNA, certainly in their cultural cues.  Given the nearly global unanimity of action/response, I'm erring on the side of DNA.

With practice, with perception, the layers of and between the players are not peeled back like an onion, but left intact to become a bit more transluscent.  So they remain no longer impenetrable but opaque, perhaps like looking through a glass darkly yet still looking through a glass.  And the deepening layers fall into view and their patterns become understood, known, attended to.  

And nothing changes, but everything changes.  The tide still rolls in and out and the waves keep crashing upon the shore.  But on some level, you now know that it is not the good high tide and bad low tide, not the good surge in and bad pull out, but the constancy and interdependence of it all that makes a life experienced as symbiotic as oxygen and carbon dioxide, trully as seemless as a breath.

You see all the layers and see through all the layers right down to the core. But then, you know, that's really just another layer, too.

And the family, forever, moves along.

Michael Manely 

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