Our vulnerability only increases with awareness, as does the opportunity to love and to truly be loved. Each bit of armor or weapon removed from our hands and bodies and hearts and minds leaves us emptier of offense, more innocent, and lovelier in every way to Everyone and Everything that wishes us well.” -George Bertelstein
I love this picture because it feels of vulnerability and strength in the same breath. Of all the pictures I have this one defines who he was to me. I could lean into him. I could be weak or strong. I could be a pain in the butt. I could be on top of my game or in the pits. I could feel his energy (I still do). As I look upon the picture I can feel everything about him. I can feel his back, his brawn, and I can hear a quiet ‘sh’ issuing forth, from him as if to say ‘it is okay Fred is here’.
Sometimes it was the other way around and he needed to lean into me. We laughed, we cried, we spoke of our shame, our longings, our accomplishments and so forth.
We were vulnerable with and for one another.
That is what I miss the most. Our twenty-five year partnership was raw and tender and funny and emotionally charged in all directions.
My journey, now, seems to be to find a quiet place for ‘us’ to rest in my heart. A place that is filled with joy and honor. A place that is of gratitude for the opportunity we shared to grow our souls together with the courage to meet the challenges as they arose. We fought, we said things that hurt but we didn’t leave it there. We spoke of the smoke screen of petty stuff that sucked our energy when what we really wanted to say was left for another day.
I would like to say that we were perfect but we were not. Our imperfection was a springboard to loftier heights. Sometimes it took a while to get there and it was not a one-time thing. It was of our lifetime shared.