Thursday, December 3, 2009

Onbeing naked and vulnerable

This week I received this moving letter from a dear friend. He is a very private person but was not unwilling to share this with us. May it touch you as it did me. It goes as follows:

“Every December I write a letter to my friends. This year the letter has a different tone. It is a little more quiet. A little softer. But still hopeful.

In my dreams I am naked, vulnerable. When I wake up I toss around, restless, and I wonder about the fear that sits so heavily upon me, just by the mentioning of a single small word. Our whole life we run away from being naked and vulnerable. We build walls and windows with bars and doors with trelllidoors. We buy toy guns as well as the real thing. We become able-bodied, defensible, secure, entrenched. We prove our manliness or our own maturity. The map of our life should run along straight lines. So we believe. So we insist.

We hide it away, this nakedness – in our poems and our favourite songs, and deep, deep within ourselves. We find our security in our gods – they who are supposed to put forward nakedness, even real knowledge and open hearts. We destroy nakedness in nature, in our dialogue, in ourselves, in each other. Naked and vulnerable children live in danger. Defenseless hearts break. Naked lovers are far too early. Then never. To be defenseless and naked is to be poor, is to be delivered, is to be sad and therefore not suited for us.

Even our language makes our nakedness something to fear, to flee from.
But that is the truth in us. That is where we store love, charity and compassion. This is where our heart abides. My heart, that is where you abide!

Fear is anger, is fear. I fear because I am angry, because I fear. I am angry because I fear, because I am angry. Vulnerability, nakedness. Deeply buried and walled in and secure as I was taught and my parents were taught and all before them were taught. But it is all around me and in all that I find beautiful. A wheel that is only half can’t turn. Defensive and vulnerable.

Shall I risk to find it in myself?

In the year that lies ahead I consider to find out. At least to make a beginning. Too much fear, angry for too long, being fortified out of proportion can teach me nothing of myself, or of you. And it leaves me fearful. Yes, barricading and defending myself all the time leaves me fearful.

Tread softly my friends because I am on the lookout for my open vulnerable heart and I am still thrown into panic much too easily.

With love for the part of the year that remains and for that which is coming.

Your friend”

Carel Anthonissen

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