(i wrote the first part of this after a long conversation with tbb, as we talked about some tender spots we both have, but i knew it wasn’t full. then natalie wrote this morning and i needed to reply, and i saw how the two ideas were the same idea (after the jump). i really need to see occurrences like this as a sign i am doing the work i need to do so i feel less trepidatious about the future, but that’s one of my own sore and well defended spots.)
We are at the centre, as TBB reminds me, two things: our tender hearts and our tough defences.
Sure, there are all those other bits swirling around that make up our identity; our heritage, our duty, our priorities, our culture, our education, and all those other things that make up a complete person.
But at the centre of all that lies a beating human heart, a potent human spirit, and just outside of that pulse is the defences that we build to keep that heart safe and functional.
You can’t have one without the other. And you can’t have a relationship with someone without engaging both bits, both the tender heart and the tough defenses.
Both bits are engaged in the central struggle of our lives, the struggle between being ourselves and being functional in the world, in society. That’s one reason I hated the end of Hedwig, because while getting naked may be a great stunt, walking naked in the world isn’t any kind of practical position. Continue reading We Are