"Intimacy is a direct experience. It is not a theory, it is not something to be documented, it cannot be photographed; intimacy must be felt. The ability to share our feelings begins with us actually feeling the feeling." --Timothy "Speed" Levitch
The whole idea behind money is that things can be exchanged, one for the other. A second of time for a second of time. A book for a book. A seed for a seed. Wires and plastic and electricity for wires and plastic and electricity. Transaction after transaction we whittle our lives away, exchanging one moment for the next.
Yes, we aim at efficiency of exchange, second for second, word for word, gasoline fumes for gasoline fumes, a cup of coffee for a cup of coffee. Swipe swipe there goes the time, an endless line of credit until it ends, until it ends. youth-youth-youth-age-how long the chain?
But there are times when we wake up and [here's Levitch again] "put aside Wall Street consciousness and see beyond the American dream just for a moment and recognize that the only thing we ever truly pay for is a lack of generosity." Generosity breaks the chain of endless exchange that indirects and redirects experience. It gives without asking and it takes with gratitude. We pay for a lack of generosity with intimacy. The cost exacted for this lack is the exchangeability of experience, the lives that leak away indirectly like credit lines, like money, swipe by swipe, etherial and representational and transactional like all things countable and exchangeable.
Intimacy, on the other hand, what does this mean? It must be felt. It can't be said, only gestured toward. What is a feeling? It is something that cannot be exchanged. A feeling has moment, directness, the feeling of the feeling.
The barb of life's hook, the resistance, the friction, the effort, the pain, the gut, this is the feeling and the matter of life. It can be polished and whittled until it is so smooth and sharp and slick and fungible and abstract that it is nothing at all. We substitute intimacy, the only true currency of the life as experienced, for exchange.
Efficiency can be resisted on behalf of rough intimacy through simple but fuzzy words that resist easy exchange: love, friendship, work, good. What is good?
"Then what is good? [here is Tennessee Williams] The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that is dynamic and expressive--that's what good for you if you are at all serious in your aims. ... Purity of heart is the one success worth having. 'In the time of your life -- live!' That time is short and it doesn't return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss loss loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition."
... bodily movement ... poetry or prose ... purity of heart ... the movement of the clock ... devote your heart ... a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction ...
Devote your heart, beyond exchange.