I love the rain. Except, of course, when I am walking umbrella-less in a downpour to retrieve my umbrella from the last place I left it. Welcome to my morning. As I prayed for my water-resistant coat to hold, and crisscrossed the streets to the sides with more trees, I started thinking about lost things.
The proverbial lone sock in the dryer. Umbrellas. Coats–I had a sixth grader come to me after school one day, one who didn’t yet understand hyperbole, almost in tears because they had lost their jacket. “My mom says she is going to burn the house to the ground if I lose one more jacket!!!” All manner of rings and earrings. Contact lenses. Gloves. We even lose our hair. Humanity has spent millions of hours wondering where we put something.
But this morning a different thought caught my attention: why do we lose so many coverings? Things that are meant to go around other things seem particularly susceptible to disappearance, and although I can sense my conspiracy prone Dad doing a jig somewhere as I write this, I start to wonder if it is not by accident.
Could the powers that be, be attempting to get us/keep us/beckon us to be naked?
I’ve heard plenty of people talk about vulnerability, been in many vulnerable moments, and read a fair chunk of writing that tries to crack the code to vulnerability. It is a state we both long for and are afraid of. We’re jealous of those who can “do it”, seemingly without shame or fear of judgement. But, at least for me, it seems like there is often not much support for vulnerability. There’s a sense of, you can put it out there, but be ready to be mocked, condescended to, looked down on, and a whole other host of things that will require you to defend yourself. Living with bones, heart, and skin open, is not easy.
But what if nakedness was not something we had to create permission for? What if it was an invitation to follow a natural pattern? What if hiding was throwing our puny energy against the order of things? Not only do humans lose our coverings, but trees lose their leaves, birds lose their feathers, snow melts, rock wears away gradually. It seems like everything but people are comfortable with real visibility.
So maybe along with my other intentions for 2017: reconsider my purpose, investigate what makes me happy, and create space where voices are heard, I can add one more intention:
Get naked more often.
Everyone’s naked looks different. I know I routinely shock people with the intimacy of what I say one-on-one or online, but put me in a group of people and suddenly I’m deeply, confusingly naked. I can take all my clothes off with a significant other, but if I have to tell them I feel like I’m being boiled alive when the leave the cap off the toothpaste, I am tremblingly exposed. I can write deep into raw and sensitive subjects, but should a piece ask me to abandon the rhythm for other considerations, I am once again a novice.
No one can tell me if I am naked or not, just like I can’t tell them. But if the world is working so hard to strip us down anyways, shouldn’t we just start there?