I’ve never been to Burning Man, and as someone who’s not a huge fan of desert environments, I’ve never felt a strong urge to go. (I know, I’m probably missing out on a lot.) But this year I saw a sculpture featured there, and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind or heart. Here it is. It’s called “Love,” and was sculpted by Alexander Milov:
You can Google it to see more images taken at various times of day. I don’t want to over-interpret this art, and can only describe my own response to it, not only as a couples therapist but as a human being with a marriage and many other powerful relationships in my life. When I look at these images, I feel empathy for all four figures, the two adults and the two children. I suspect the adults know what the children are doing, and while the children extend their hands so simply, the adults are working out their ambivalent feelings of longing, resentment, hope, fear, regret, and love. And I notice that the children are not quite touching.
Oh, how I want those children to be able to touch hands, and embrace. I want this for all four of them. I want to help them.
This is my life’s work.