My song today is ‘Move Closer’. This song was by American singer-songwriter Phyllis Nelson, and it topped the charts in the United Kingdom in April 1985. Nelson wrote the ballad in 1984. It was a complete departure from the type of music she had been recording; she had been recording dance and disco records, and decided to write her own record because, in her words, "not much music lets you dance close". The lyrics of ‘Move Closer’ were based on a long-term love affair she had with a much younger man in Philadelphia, who was struggling to start his own computer business.
While ‘Move Closer’ failed to make an impact on the US ‘Billboard Hot 100’, the song was hugely successful in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at the top of the ‘UK Singles Chart’, making her the first black woman to top the charts in Britain with her own sole composition. The song was originally released in April 1984 but failed to chart and was re-released in February 1985 and the song began to climb the charts. ‘Move Closer’ became Britain's seventh biggest-selling song of the year and the 82nd highest selling-single of the decade. The song was also featured in the British film, ‘The Supergrass’ (1985).
While there is such a feeling as being ‘too close from comfort’, as a rule, most of us enjoy being close to someone we like, admire, or love.
For two individuals to fall in love, there has to be an initial attraction that generates in both parties a ‘curiosity factor’ of wanting to find out more about the other person. The attraction can be purely physical, exhilarating and exciting, sexually sensual, mentally stimulating, practically convenient, interesting, or even annoying. It is not uncommon for two people to report ‘not liking each other upon first meeting’ and yet proceed to court each other, marry each other, and become the most loving of life-long-partners. When this occurs, they may consciously recall aspects about their partner on their first date which they did not care for, or even dislike, and this situation is what I call the ‘iceberg phenomenon’.
What this phenomenon essentially boils down to is this. The sophisticated centre of power lies beneath the surface which the eye cannot see but the body can subconsciously sense. Without knowing why the initial attraction may be telling you that it is the opposing character traits of you and the other person which are drawing you closer to each other, and though there could be an element of truth in that, what is pulling you towards each other with greater force is that seventh sense of the other person’s hidden strengths and vulnerabilities.
Unknowingly, you can sense more aspects about the character of the other person ‘that appeal to you’ than the fewer number of negative character traits you mentally registered upon forming your first impression. Just like the metaphorical iceberg image, only one-tenth of what truly exists lies above the surface.
An iceberg which is strategically positioned has the capability of sinking the mightiest of steamships, as the crew and passengers of the ‘RMS Titanic sadly discovered when the great ship collided and sideswiped an iceberg on April 15th, 1912 off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in that disaster.
What is not appreciated in the mind of the public, however, is that at the time of the collision, the iceberg (at 32 degrees), was warmer than the water which the Titanic passengers fell into that night. The ocean waters were 28 degrees, a temperature below the freezing point, but which had not frozen because of the water's salt content.
Back to the metaphorical comparison between the Titanic’s collision with the iceberg, and the emotional collision of the two humans who do not initially intend to connect. The person who cannot see the hidden strengths of the other person can nevertheless sense their presence. As they allow themselves to get to know the other person by ‘moving closer’, those parts that they initially felt cool toward begin to gradually reveal themselves as the atmosphere becomes warmer and friendlier. Eventually, after half a dozen dates into the couple’s relationship, their meeting of hearts, minds, and bodies melts any residual resistance. Having cared to dive beneath the superficial surface, the inner depth of the other person can be now seen as being strong, powerful, and resistant when required, but also be recognised as being a person who is not afraid to show their more tender and vulnerable side to their character, after the ice has been broken.
So, if you happen to share a loving relationship today with someone who literally did not make the earth shake for you when you first met, you now know why your heart was prepared to ‘jump ship’ and moved away from your usual type of opposite number that would have physically attracted you initially, but which always turned out to be a ‘heart breaker’ or ‘a wrong un’, or a ‘love rat’, as frequently described by spurned lovers. When you moved away from the heart-breaker type and toward another type who you would normally ever give a second glance, you made yourself emotionally vulnerable and available to collide with a person who was able to offer you far more than you could ever have imagined the first time you bumped into each other.
Instead of once again falling for a ship sinker (a destroyer of romantic relationships), you found a partner who would row the same boat alongside you forevermore, taking you far away from the previous disastrous situations you had sadly grown accustomed to being a part of. It was only once you had reached the security of clear waters that you were able to look back on your past situations and realise what titanic mistakes you had made in your choice of romantic partners before you managed to find your true love.
Love and peace Bill xxx