Vulnerability

How timidly we approach our dreams.
How carefully we shield our eyes from their brightness.
How cautiously we claim them as our own.

The sight of light touching water is enough to make you weep, because in that fragile, gentle beauty is everything we know could be real, already is real, if we could just see it clearly in each moment.


I drop water all over the floor. I’m never as careful about that as I should be. I always resist getting out of the shower. That warm cave of solitude and hygiene. I haven’t showered in two days and on the third day I emerge, and I probably don’t need to even mention the resurrection for you to get that reference.

There is fear in standing here like this. How naked we stand after we’re born or reborn. It doesn’t matter what kind of beginning it is, it’s always so raw and fresh and vulnerable.

That’s why showering and getting born is best done in solitude. Prying eyes make for uncomfortable situations. But eventually you have to step out, enter the larger environment, outside of the shelter of locked doors, the safety of resting spots.

And what then? Do we bring a sword and shield? Do we bring armor? The video games have wisdom for us here: “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!”

But there is power in vulnerability too.


Outside, the cat named Apollo meows at me. Over and over again. He took shelter in his home above the cabinets, but now that he sees me, he comes out to walk and play and eat and bite and scratch. Nearness gives us courage. A child runs from her parent but looks back to know she is safe.

Life is a series of rings of safety. We move out and out in concentric circles away from the familiar, and then create new families of planets to circle around us, to create a new home in the image of the one we left.


About Kevin McGillivray

Kevin McGillivray is a teacher and web developer from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea. He is the co-founder of Sandcastle, a tiny studio.

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