This is another piece I created for the gender stereotype project N. and I are working on.
The man in the interview talks about a relationship he was really happy in. “We had warm conversations, we could talk about cooking, fashion, things one or both of us were interested in (science, art, music), or we’d sit sharing a pair of
To me, those words are about being equals, a feeling of alignment, about closeness and intimacy, and about feeling safe in each other’s company. And also, no less important, about balance in being a leader and being lead. I don’t think leadership (and leadership balance) in a relationship is necessarily a gender thing, probably mostly a personality thing, because I often find myself struggling with not letting go, relaxing and not feeling like I have to be in the lead and take matters into my own hands all the time too. But I think, this mention of balance is what made this text special for me, and that balance was what I wanted to draw about
Thinking about the balance of leadership and being lead, I first thought about a whole bunch of fancy metaphors, including walking tightropes together and unicycles and what not. It all felt way too fancy and artificial, I wanted something closer to home. For me, this leadership balance thing (I don’t think that’s an actual term, but I do need to call it something) is a lot about being able to relax, to breathe out, to trust and feel safe. When I think of all that, there is really just one thing that pops into my head really soon, and it has nothing to do with tightropes and unicycles. It’s my dog sleeping on his back with his paws stretched out into the air and a smile on his face.
J. and I both love looking at him when he does that. It’s like he’s feeling totally safe, absolutely at home, in a state of absolute bliss, all four paws sticking out into the air. And we both find it amusing how the beast finds this position relaxing. To think about it, it’s a pretty absurd position to sleep in, all four legs stretched up and out above your head. Never fails to make both of us smile
And seeing the Dogster relaxed like that always makes me feel warmer inside. Like, if he can trust the world around him and our company all that much, maybe, I can too.
I called this one Safe Space, and the Dogster posed to me for it. So there’s that, that’s how you go from gender stereotypes to your dog’s happy face.
I ended up doing three pieces for this interview, there’s also Safe Space – 2 that I’ll share with you shortly, and I did do the unicycles eventually. Who could ever resist a unicycle! =)
What do you think of when you think of a Safe Space?