The Anima left me a note which said, “I am nothing.” It was written in bold with a black felt tipped marker on page one of my life instructions.
Her enigmatic words moved me, especially being scrawled on such a personal document. They seemed to indicate affection, and an attempt to clarify our profound relationship. For my life instructions clearly stated she and I were to serve each other in every possible way, even down to cleaning one another’s shoes.
I wondered how to fulfill this task properly. For instance, if I cleaned her shoes with excruciating attention to detail, wouldn’t that effort reflect egotistical pride in doing a job well? Wouldn’t it also indicate emotional attachment to this figure of incandescent femininity that appeared in a thousand different guises and garbs?
It haunted me, this declaration of her insubstantiality. How could someone be “nothing” who had seemed both consolingly present and frustratingly absent always? For whose reflection I had searched every woman’s face and voice throughout the years?
But after awhile I began to perceive how much love was shown in that simple statement. For most people consider themselves important and want their due in some form or another. And relationships are underpinned by a sense of negotiation and compromise, which is another way of saying bondage.
Yet, love is freedom.