There are three ways to approach the mystery of the divine.
The first practice is prayer. The second is meditation.
And the third, and most important, is conversation.
When you asked me to try this platform, I chose a random passage from my Google keeps list of “quotes” to test publishing. Sometimes I casually fling something in front of me without a lot of forethought, guided by effortless instinct. And then I look at it more closely, and I notice with surprise that it’s perfect. I notice “coincidences” more now.
What’s perfect about this quote is that it gestures to the sacred and the divine, which is something the Folie à Deux has been exploring. Religion and spirituality used to make us both uncomfortable, reverberating echoes of a secular past. I remember when you told me over a year ago, with an intensity that was departure from your usually measured self : “Cheryl, I want to go crazy.” I knew what you meant. At that point, we knew we needed to detach ourselves from old ways of thinking and living that was destroying our connection to ourselves and this planet. We felt like we were on the precipice of something that required us to commit, mind, body and soul. We could no longer intellectually dance – with great gusto, but also careful distance – with ideas around radical interconnectedness, entangled ecologies, divine mysteries and the unknown. We had to throw ourselves over the edge.
So here, with this new epistolary experiment, we arrive to another moment of enactment. Taking a gossamer idea from the constellation of concepts that dance around our coffee conversations, and giving it life. Blood pumping, physically embodied life.
Back to the quote though: another reason why it’s perfect is that Rumi underlines conversation. We’ve talked about how generative conversation is the backbone of our relationship – a relationship that we’ve cheekily called the Folie à Deux.
Folie à deux (‘madness for two’), also known as shared psychosis or shared delusional disorder(SDD), is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief, and sometimes hallucinations are transmitted from one individual to another.
We give our relationship a name because we recognize and cultivate it as a separate entity – a “third energy” that is separate from us as individuals. The Folie à Deux is our shared sensing organ, a third planetary body that has its own gravitational pull and weight. As individuals, we orbit around each other, but we also orbit around strange attractor of the Folie à Deux. With three bodies in orbit, there are elements of unpredictability, chaos and mystery in how we’re unfolding and becoming. An element of madness to how Folie à Deux craves pattern breaking and novelty.
So I want our generative dispatches to each other to not only carry the weight and depth of our coffee conversations, but the humour, randomness, and irreverence. We joked yesterday night, after watching Aniara while standing on the bridge during first-snowfall, that we humans are existential creatures. Or, “humans are kinda goth.”
So let us honour the madness of the Folie à Deux through these dispatches into the future with an intergenerational time horizon. Perhaps these letters will be read by future grandchildren, perhaps they will disintegrate into the vacuum of the void. But the very act of writing them is for us to create meaning, and to hold witness to enduring love.
Let us move with the current of what emerges.