“I’ve been scrupulously open…”
I’ve been thinking about that phrase since I pushed publish last week.
scrupulously, flawlessly, accurately, precisely, exactly
I’m eyeing that last word with a bit of relief. “I’ve been carefully open….” I bet that was what I meant.
Let’s think for a minute, about the last time we shared intimate information about ourselves with no filter.
Who was the person we shared so completely with?
When I say intimately/completely I don’t mean in a necessarily sexual manner. I believe there are intimate acts that touch places far deeper than any of the various pleasures of modern sexuality.
When was the last time you were only you with another person?
When was the last time you held nothing back?
When I think back on my life, looking for moments of pure me, I immediately think of living in Hawaii. That was my first taste, though it wasn’t any kind of intimacy with another person. Rather, it was the unfettered joy of living for myself. It didn’t last nearly long enough. For years after I came back to the mainland, I tried to recreate that Hawaiian peace of mind. It’s funny to me now, thinking I could find that happiness in a flower, or a vintage print, or the smell of an airport.
It would take years to figure out. I remember where I was, lying on my bed in my apartment in Bismarck. I could hear the kids playing in the living room. I was exhausted, depressed and basically immobilized with a back injury. I had to crawl to the bathroom and depend on my ten-year old son to feed his sisters. I laid in bed and slept and cried and swore to myself I would not come back to this place. I would not let myself be brought here again. It didn’t feel like an epiphany. It felt like a breakdown. So, what does all this have to do with the unvarnished truth?
I’m generally quite introverted. Ask anyone I work with and they’ll tell you it took me a year or two, maybe more, before I let myself begin to have the immersive experience of my workplace, the chats and food in the break room, the after work drinks, speaking up in staff meetings.
When I contacted my newest brother, it was with the same caution, but something happened in that first conversation. That little girl I keep away from people came out to play. She never comes out, not in a first conversation. She stays hidden and listens, deciding if this person is to be trusted or not. That’s her usual M.O..
It wasn’t scary until later, early in the morning when I re-read the messages. I was shocked by my candor. Surprised by his simple acceptance, I tried to remember when I’d revealed so much in a first conversation. Never, I’m sure, not the truth anyway. Five weeks later, I’m still concerned, but this little girl part of me just skips around smiling at me. It’s as if she understands something I can’t quite put my finger on; She has faith in us, her and me.
He hasn’t heard all of my truth yet.
I hope we have years to come in which we are free to roam about each other’s dusty basement levels discovering. He’s a steady one, the logician who points out I’m getting nowhere by running around crashing into walls. I’m the emotional one, excitedly jumping from stone to stone ten steps in front of him, pointing out everything he already sees. I’ve tripped more than once while looking back to see if he’s watching. He stands me up, brushes me off and shakes his head. I know he doesn’t understand yet; I’m smiling like an idiot because it’s just me he’s seeing.