Initial Thoughts on “The Three Marriages”
A friend of mine recommended author and poet David Whyte to me recently. When I went to the library to find a collection of his poems I was disappointed…they had none. But, they did have two of his non-fiction writings. I chose to check out “The Three Marriages – Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship” because it sounds interesting – and has the word ‘reimagining’ in the title, a word I associate directly with my friend, Doug Pagitt.
Today I finally started reading the book. This is the first paragraph from the section of the book called The Premise:
“The current understanding of work-life balance is too simplistic. People find it hard to balance work with family, family with self, because it might not be a question of balance. Some other dynamic is in play, something to do with a very human attempt at happiness that does not quantify different parts of life and then set them apart against one another. We are collectively exhausted because of our inability to hold competing parts of ourselves together in a more integrated way. These hidden human dynamics of integration are more of a conversation, more of a synthesis and more of an almost religious and sometimes almost delirious quest for meaning than a simple attempt at daily ease and contentment.”
Whyte goes on in the first chapter to describe what the three marriages are. The first is marriage in the sense of personal commitment to one other person (Relationship), but also sets the stage for all other commitments we make through life. The second outlined is Work and how a need for seeing our job as more than just doing it as a means to an end/just to pay the bills. The third marriage Whyte describes is Self, the non-public marriage.
I have been saying for quite a while that I think “balance” is a load of crap. Survival is more my experience. And trying to smile and be both authentic and vulnerable in the midst is what I strive for…meaning it definitely does not happen all the time.
Whyte’s way of writing is perfect for my brain. It’s conversational and poetic at the same time. These topics are thought provoking, and I look forward to seeing where he goes with all this!
…and I have to find more time to read this week.