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Yin and Yang, or, How We Resonate

 

Some people resonate with each other, not because they are objectively the same but because they complement each other in interesting ways. We often talk about yin and yang, where two people create a whole circle, but I tend to think more of melody and harmony. It’s not a circle with no holes, it’s a song that resonates and echoes.

Cricket and Butterfly are not a perfect match. First of all, they look too much alike. They have the same color hair, both white with apricot markings in mostly the same places. And they both bark, at different pitches, but not in a harmony of beautiful sound; they are not a choir, they are a cacophony of noise. They are not the same height, but also not opposites, like big and small or fat and skinny. They are just small and smaller. They don’t fill all of the possible spaces in the world with their two personalities, but sometimes they harmonize in interesting and beautiful ways.

Butterfly was very excited to meet Cricket on her first day home.

Butterfly was very excited to meet Cricket on her first day home.

Cricket was less excited.

Cricket was less excited.

"Okay, maybe she's not so bad."

“Okay, maybe she’s not so bad.”

Cricket is much more of a protector, wild with noise and ready to lunge at friends and strangers alike, and Butterfly is more of a conciliator, but not always. She is not always slow and Cricket is not always fast. But they have worked out, as sisters. They have not camped out at opposite sides of the apartment, hissing at each other like cats. They do not ignore each other. Sometimes they snuggle or sleep close by each other. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes one is going crazy and the other stands by with a lifted eyebrow, but then the roles reverse.

Cricket, protecting the world from the inherent violence of sticks.

Cricket, protecting the world from the inherent violence of sticks.

Butterfly, meditating on the absence of chicken treats.

Butterfly, meditating on the absence of chicken treats.

They often like to walk in opposite directions, to see how far my arms can stretch away from my body.

Sometimes the girls even work together.

Sometimes the girls even work together.

I think we have this unreachable ideal of perfection in love, of black and white, all or nothing, that two people either match perfectly or they don’t match at all. But what if it’s not supposed to be just two people completing each other? Maybe no one person is the perfect and whole complement to any other person, because that wouldn’t leave room for anything or anyone else. Even the happiest couples crave children, or friendships, or dogs, teachers, or coworkers, or clergy. There has to be some room left over in a couple for the rest of the world to filter in – not like a great flood whooshing through the relationship and wiping everything out, but room for more people, more ideas, more emotions. There are so many couples at my synagogue who have lasted 40, 50, and 60 years together and they still leave room for other people and activities and ideas. They accept that there are unfilled spaces between them, and that that’s a good thing.

Both of my dogs resonate with me (I did choose them after all). Cricket’s Sturm und Drang and high drama and need for closeness speak of the volume of emotion coursing through me all my life. The noise of her happiness and pain and excitement and rage, and her unbearable joy in love and curiosity and new things, resonates with me. And the way she studies the things she loves so carefully and with such attention, is just like me.

"Food!!!!!!!!"

“Food!!!!!!!!”

Butterfly is this sweet grief, this place of joy and pain mixed together that I remember from visiting my grandfather, and going out for ice cream sundaes at six in the morning because Grandma couldn’t stand to wake up to children in her house. Butterfly is joy tempered by patience, and when she knows what she needs, endless stubbornness and knowledge that she is right. We are the same! This is me! Well, not all of me, but some. And I could make room for more soul mates like these, because there is more of me to be met.

"I think I can...I think I can."

“I think I can…I think I can.”

I am always on the lookout for people who will resonate with me and I’ve had to learn to give the chemistry more time to grow – but there are still people who, right away, glow for me; people whose energy reaches across the room to me so that I can feel it in my fingers and on my face. I don’t understand this. I worry that I can’t live without this kind of glow.

What if, in two or three ways, you have that full on orchestral sound in your ears with someone, but on the fourth note: cacophony? Or, you’re both in sync, but your families hate the sound of each other? Or what if your families like each other and you have no major cacophonies, but the harmonies between you are only middling, is that better?

I don’t know. Maybe I should just leave it to Cricket to decide.

She's ready.

She’s ready.

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About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

293 responses »

  1. Great post. Made me smile 🙂

    Reply
  2. He is so adorable. I wish I had a cute puppy like yours rachelmankowitz.

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  3. Love this. You know, it made me think of the issue that just happened with the trainee therapist that I experienced a few weeks ago. So so so so so confusing and interesting of what and how it all ended. But, I think we did compliment each other and maybe that’s just what I needed at the time. Anyway…

    Love the puppies as always!

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  4. Like many others, I loved the concept of resonance and of imperfect perfection in a relationship. And the dogs — super cute!

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  5. Loved this. Cricket and Butterfly just put a cracked looking glass to all my special relationships…. and they have never looked better.

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  6. Awwh, these dogs are gorgeous. I must steal them.. but no, in all seriousness, other than the picture labled food (which makes your pup look like a brain eating zombie dog!) they’re beautiful!

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  7. The picture of the dog is so so so so cute

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  8. Feel the love, so cute and cuddly, dogs have so many ways of communicating with us, are we open to them or resonating at the same level, only our hearts will know

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  9. Your Cricket and my Johnny could have a fine time barking at each other.

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  10. Is that yo R’s dog tots beauts😘😘

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  11. like

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  12. Oooh I fall in the Love they are sooo sweet. I love your dogs ❤

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  13. Really cute dogs and wonderful names:) regarding the resonating, do you believe that it’s something that the parties involved can work on or it’s more of a thing that if it’s not happening by default it’s never gonna happen?

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  14. Love your babies! So cute. And lovely names.
    I believe that we all have vibes to put out there in the
    universe.
    And some are feel good vibes and some are
    you just want to get away from it. I often
    can feel high vibrations on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Reply
  15. Reblogged this on ihelver.

    Reply
  16. Wonderful post:) I learned about the Yin and Yang philosophy before, but never thought that way. It was a good time for me to think about the relationship with people.

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  17. Reblogged this on yinyangfashionable and commented:
    I love this !!

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  18. I do not have any experience in this field. However, felt them beautiful

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  19. Condogulations on being Freshly Pressed! Woot!

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  20. It’s a nice thing to see two beings click and form a friendship.
    Cute little sweethearts Butterfly and Cricket are. What kind of dogs are they? I see shih-tzu and maybe pekingese in Butterfly, or maybe even maltese, and poodle in Cricket.

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  21. Sissy, my corgi is all I can handle or need – gracious and protective of her crippled master, she is my comfort!

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  22. lifethroughcrystalseyes

    Soo cute!

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  23. Its beautifully written!! How interestingly you have captured teh human relation ship issues through the relationship between your adorable pets ( with equally interesting names!!) and also yours with them….may we meet many such “soul mates” in our lives….thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  24. Adorable! I love reading about dogs and especially novels written by dogs. I enjoyed how your dogs made you think of love. That was really neat! 🙂

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  25. Cute dog x

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  26. nice to hear from a fellow dog person. Thanks for liking Grendel, My Hero. The rancherwriterpoet.

    Reply
  27. Thank for this Post and your entire Blog, Rachel. As I approach my 60th birthday, I reflect upon who I resonate with and who raises a cacophony in my world.

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  28. I also have two dogs; small and smaller. They are best buds.

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  29. So cute…your pups look much like my buddy Ace. He was a bichon shitzu cross.. We had many years together. Miss him. Enjoyed your story. Thanks.

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  30. eat animals and I don’t proof enoghf

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  31. Rachel, What a beautiful article. You put into words how I feel about my dog, Rocky, and about all the animals I have owned and loved in the past. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you’ll check out my giveaway March 25-26 for my new book, Double Play.

    Reply

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