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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Soulmate, Myself:
The Perfect Mate

Georgia Girl and Georgia Boy



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Diamond Rio

"Meet In The Middle" (1991)

It was seven hundred fenceposts
from your place to ours
neither one of us was
old enough to drive a car
sometimes it was raining,
sometimes it would shine
we wore out that gravel road
between your house and mine

I'd start walking your way
you'd start walking mine
we'd meet in the middle
'neath that old Georgia pine

We'd gain a lot of ground
'cause we'd both give a little
and their ain't no road too long
when you meet in the middle

It's been seven years tomorrow
since we said our vows
under that old pine tree,
you ought to see it now
standing in the back yard
reminding me and you
that if we don't see eye to eye
there's something we can do

I'd start walking your way
you'd start walking mine
we'd meet in the middle
'neath that old Georgia pine

We'd gain a lot of ground
'cause we'd both give a little
and their ain't no road too long
when you meet in the middle

Babe I love the way we work it out
that's what love's about




"Meet in the Middle" is a song recorded by American country music band Diamond Rio. It was released in February 1991 as their debut single, and served as the first single in the album Diamond Rio. The single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, making Diamond Rio the first country music band in history to have its debut single reach number one. The song was written by Don Pfrimmer, Chapin Hartford and Jim Foster.

"Meet in the Middle" is a mid-tempo describing two people who learn how to "meet in the middle". In the first verse, they are friends who live far apart, and agree to meet at a tree between their houses. By the second verse, they are married (the ceremony taking place underneath said tree), and upon looking at the tree (now in their back yard), they are reminded to put their differences aside when they disagree.



Kairissi. Songwriters must be allowed a certain poetic license, and I understand that; however, I have to say, I am bothered by the message of this song.

Elenchus. “Meet in the Middle” was a big hit for Diamond Rio, and we don’t want to diminish the luster, as it’s a good tune, but – I think I know what you mean, so why don’t you lead the autopsy here.

K. For many marriages, divided by strife and ill-will, it would be a big step up if the partners could at least “meet in the middle.”

E. Let me play devil’s advocate. What’s wrong with “meeting in the middle”? Shouldn’t we be willing to temper an approach of “my way or the highway”?

K. Yes, of course. There’s always that element of accommodation, of seeing things from another’s point of view, which civility demands. And this will never go out of style, even a million years from now.

E. Ok, then – so what’s wrong with “meeting in the middle”?

K. There’s a time to “meet in the middle” – but the two Georgia kids think it to be the last word on romance and intimacy. They say “that’s what love is all about.”

E. That's quite a statement - the word "all."

K. Let me put it this way: in matters of personal taste and private opinion -- what did Will Durant say? -- we can be "as flexible as that of a bishop in politics."

E. In matters of personal taste, lovers should try to accommodate. My thinking on this is that I would rather try to make you happy than going all out to please myself.

K. Thank you, Elenchus. But, in matters of natural law, of sturdy principle which reflects Nature and Reality, there can be not an iota of compromise. Because - if she’s dead wrong in her views, and he knows she’s dead wrong, should he "keep the peace," say nothing, and “meet her in the middle,” knowing full well that his faux egalitarianism will lead her to suffering and grief?

E. The principle of “meet in the middle” finds a ready home within the context of business negotiation; in other words, between two parties who don't pretend to love each other.

K. When unions and corporate management meet to discuss a new contract, each is trying to get as much as they can from the deal. They expect to budge a little, but only when they get something, too. It’s just the way business is done “down here in hell.” But this Machiavellian view has no place, at all, within authentic love and marriage - for that matter, anywhere in life where convenience clashes with truth.




In Captain America: Civil War, we find Steve attending the funeral of Peggy. Her niece Sharon, delivering the eulogy, recalls Peggy Carter’s intransigence when it came to going soft on what’s truly important:

"Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't."




E. This was a recent news item: "Around 13K auto workers went on strike at three factories owned by General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, marking the first ever simultaneous strike. The walkouts will halt production of popular vehicle models including Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and GMC Canyon, sending shares of the Detroit Three into the red... [Analysts] expect the companies and UAW to meet in the middle."

K. This is the problem: "meet in the middle" is the language of those trying to get as much as possible from an adversary. This phrase has no place among those seeking for romantic intimacy.

E. “The Wedding Song” warned us about this kind of “buying and selling,” this “giving to get,” in the domain of marital love.

K. No matter what the “Middle” song thinks it’s doing, nothing kills romance faster than a perception that your partner is in this just to win as many chips as he can, and if you don’t watch out, he'll either take all your marbles or won't stop you from losing them. Now, he might be clever enough -- clever, not intelligent -- to know that if he attempts to get too much, the whole marriage edifice will come tumbling down; and so, he pragmatically decides to “meet her in the middle.”

E. There are famous thinkers, opining on the subject of marriage, who say that it’s “the art of compromise”; that, you have to sort of give a blind eye to certain things after the wedding; that, marriage is a 50-50 proposition, all the way down the line.

K. This is just more dicta extending the notion that marriage is nothing more than a domestic business contract. And part of the shrewd hard bargaining is to “know when to hold’em and when to fold’em,” when to bluff and when to put all your chips on the table. “The Wedding Song” commentary told us to be wary of the attitude, “I'm in this for you to make me happy” and “I’ll give to you only if I can get back a little more.”

E. Well, she can hardly wait. So, Little Girl, tell me – if “meet me in the middle” leaves you cold, what would you rather see?

it is enough

K. I need to know I can trust the fellow who's asking to sleep with me. Trust is number one. I want him not just as my lover but as my steadfast and trustworthy friend and guide. I want him to serve my highest and best interests, all the time, no days off, no vacations, no excuses, no smile-and-a-handshake schmoozing, no giving-to-get, no techniques, no tactics, just put me as 'priority one' in all his thinking, even if it’s not to his short-term advantage, and even if I disagree with him. I want to be able to trust him, and rely on him, for my life and my eternal life, and, when his vision is very clear, I want him to act unilaterally, without prompting, to do what's best for me - even if I fight him on this. And I’m not interested, at all, not a farthing's worth, in some shallow and self-serving “meet me in the middle” sophism, some stingy counting-out-the-pennies “50-50” negotiation. I can get that in any mercenary business deal - what do I look like, the Teamsters haggling out some contract? Hardly, my dear. There'll be no bargaining with me. I want it lavish, lavish for me, all on my side. I want it splurged. I want it sloppy and juicy and all-you-can-eat at the dessert bar. What I want is someone who'll give me 100% of his life, 100% of his best, 100% of his plans and projects, all that he has, all that he is, all that he will ever be, in this world and the next. I don't want much, I just want everything, and I want it with a cherry on top, and a chocolate kiss on my pillow, and I want him to surrender all this, to me, just to me, willingly and with joy, with no strings attached. And I want him to shout it from the rooftops, for all the world to hear, that he is mine, all mine, that he wants me, just me, with no reservations and no loopholes. I want him to cherish me and treasure me as his 'pearl of great price'. I want him to want me to such degree that, if my love and darling companionship were all that he had in life, or would ever have in eternal life, he would pledge to God, “It is enough, who could ask for anything more?” And when I find that special one, thus moved to action, consecrated and devoted, for my benefit, for my account, then, I will offer him, not just the same but, much more - a Kama-Sutra reciprocity of personalized pleasures reified; a swooning array of ecstasies, just what he likes; a plenitude of unspoken desires actualized, what he didn't even know he liked - all crafted to address unique definitions of the luscious and the delicious; even, his unconfessed dreams, the secret fantasies; all these, my goddess gifts to him, tokens of allegiance and ardency, for total immersion darling companionship


each fosters the independence of the other 

Adrian Smith commented:

Gnostic texts counsel declarations of sovereignty as a way of” remaining spiritually sane; that is, we avoid the trap of falling under the control of despotic others by insisting on our own autonomy. This is what Kairissi is doing here, insisting on herself, her own particular definitions of happiness, her “declaration of sovereignty” within the context of true love.

“The ideal relationship would be mutual autonomy, walking hand in hand as consorts, fostering independence in the beloved… [There are] various reasons people unite, often because they depend on each other. Not good. Finding 'middle ground' sounds like an arrangement to perpetuate an uneasy peace rather than an avenue to eternal bliss.”

This is good analysis by Adrian. In a healthy love relationship, each promotes the independence of the other, safeguards it, with the ensuing union as a volitional coming together rather than a nexus forged in fearful co-dependency.



E. It's ironic, Kriss. We've said a lot about the ego-driven "make me happy" - and yet, at the end, each determining to make the other happy is all that matters.

K. There is no "meet me in the middle" in true love, and in Summerland, with Twins, there can be no lop-sided love affairs. It's 100% from each, or nothing.

E. And, let me say, too, I think your soliloquy (above) about trust and what you want is just about the best discourse on love that I’ve ever heard.

K. (smiling) Someday I’ll tell you what I really think.


"We trespassed, field to field; you, glad of my arms each time a fence challenged us; I, always held you longer than it took to help you over." Walter Benton, This Is My Beloved


K. Elenchus... you and I... were only 19 fence-posts away.


Editor’s irrelevant concluding note: I finished writing this piece about one hour before the advent of my 70th birthday.