blueprintlogo  gardenlogo

These are two logos we’ve considered for the book cover for More Than Two.

When I first started thinking about writing a book about polyamory, I wanted a book cover that expressed the way I feel about relationships: the importance of deliberate, conscious choice; the value of careful planning. The design I came up with, the one on the left, used the metaphor of a construction blueprint.

A blueprint is an important part of building anything new. It sets out the design, and it gives you a map to follow to realize that design. By making a blueprint for our hearts, I thought, we could build solid, healthy relationships, carefully and lovingly built to give us what we need to be happy.

Along the way, I started noticing something. No matter how carefully we lay the down the designs of our lives, surprising things can and do happen. A big difference between a building and a relationship is that we don’t always know when we go into a relationship what form it will ultimately take.

Indeed, sometimes trying to script the form of a relationship too closely can lead to trouble. If we prioritize the form that a relationship takes above actually having living, breathing relationships with real human beings, we can create situations where we (and those around us) feel constrained.

Eve suggested that a better metaphor for our hearts is not a blueprint, but a garden. Like a blueprint, a garden requires careful planning. We must be willing to do the preparation and the groundwork if we want good results. Like buildings, good gardens don’t happen by accident.

Unlike buildings, when we plant a garden, we are never quite sure how it will grow. We lay the groundwork, but we don’t always know how the plants will sprout or how fast they will grow. A good gardener must be flexible; there will always be surprises even in the most carefully planned garden.

And so, treating our hearts like gardens, carefully tending them but allowing for things to grow in ways that surprise us, seems a much better match for relationships than making blueprints of our hearts and trying to plan for every window and shingle.

What do you think?

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