Keyword: Vulnerability

Lately I'm not really trusting mirrors. I wonder if they've always been lying to us.
Lately I’m not really trusting mirrors. I wonder if they’ve always been lying to us.

I sometimes wish I were less transparent. I sometimes wish I were more of a mystery. It seems like my feelings are so obvious, and that the vulnerability from it could be dangerous.

I was at a store recently. My former photography student Devon was behind the counter.

“You look sad,” she said.
“I am sad,” I replied.
She’d held me up to the light, and could see right through me.
“Why?” she asked.
“I miss my wife.”

A recent poem from my journal:

that pose that we all have when we look in the mirror
is why we are surprised when we come across a mirror we we weren’t expecting
who is that in the mirror?
I no longer have that pose
who is that in the mirror?
stop being me in the mirror

“I am not the body you seen before you. Nor am I the soul inside. I am all the things I have said and done, and all the things I failed to say and do. I have said too much and done too little.” ~Journal, November 1990

I went to see a long-ago friend recently. We sat on the couch in her living room and talked. I told her about my feelings about Abby and the last year of her life. I asked her to hold my hand, and to hold me in her arms for a few minutes, which she did.

“It was intimate,” I told another long-time friend later.
“You had sex with her???”
No, no I didn’t. Intimacy isn’t a synonym for sex.

It made me wonder why so many people only perceive intimacy as sexual intimacy, and how that might even make sex non-intimate.

So, then, Richard, what do you mean by “intimate”?

Caring for a child is intimate. Caring for a dying person is intimate. Respecting someone is intimate.

One aspect of intimacy I learned in the past couple of years is the very real intimacy of caring for someone who cannot care for themselves. They are wearing an involuntary vulnerability.

Another friend of mine is at the start of a very intense relationship, and she expressed to me that she wants to say, “I love you,” but is afraid it might be burdened with consequences. I felt that same way when I was much younger, but “I love you” comes easy to me now, from the all-day, every-day “I love you” my wife and I expressed so easily, to the more casual “I love you” for my friends that are simple, welcome, and can make a difference.

Don’t be afraid of “I love you.” But yes, it is vulnerable.

Maybe I finally found that one mirror that isn't lying to me.
Maybe I finally found that one mirror that isn’t lying to me.

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