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on being vulnerable


When I was out driving today I saw a bunch of broccoli rabe in the middle of the road and it made me want to cry.  Why am I sad about a head of broccoli?  It just looked so vulnerable laying there in the middle of all the traffic; so bright green, so cheerful, so hopeful yet clueless that is was about to be run over.  Or maybe I was sad that someone, a real live person, had lost their broccoli, their hard earned groceries.  See this is what happens when our country is in a tragic state of affairs and I repress my feelings of grief and fear over it -  they come out sideways, like wanting to weep over broccoli.

I have always felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and even though I know humans are incredibly strong and resilient creatures I despair over our ineffable vulnerability.   I mean we try, and try so hard, and go through so much only to lose our groceries on the street.  Or lose a loved one to cancer or addictions or hate crimes.

But it's the little things that hit me hardest.  Like back when I was having a rocky relationship with my mom and had so much anger and resentment towards her.  One night when she was all tucked into bed to go to sleep and I noticed that she had streaks of moisturizer on her face that weren't rubbed in all the way.  This touched me to my core. She couldn't even manage to put her face cream on right.  Maybe she was too tired, or apathetic, or maybe she even did it on purpose but she just seemed so fragile.  The hate drained away and my mom became a harmless and  naturally beautifully imperfect human being.

I get these floods of emotion with my family a lot and I try to block them out, but you can see where that gets me (broccoli).  Recently we were on a family vacation and my brother got all teary because his wife was mad at him and he totally didn't see that it was his fault, totally didn't get that he had been being a dick.  His grief was so innocent - so little boyish - and as much as I wanted to be angry at him and blame him I just couldn't.  He was my sensitive baby brother who was clueless as fuck.

Sometimes I just don't want to feel.

This whole being human thing breaks my heart.  But you know who I think nailed it?  Leonard Nimoy.  Back in the 70s, in the exact opposite of his Spock character,  he wrote poetry describing us all as children.  Not in an infantile or immature way, but in a pure guileless way.   He chose to see us as stripped down to our original nature that is closest to spirit and truth.  I get it, and would even take it one step further and think of us as defenseless; defenseless against being human.

Am I getting too emo on you?  Does anyone know what I am talking about?  If I could I would wrap each and every one of us in a nice thick pink padding of fluff so that we could never get hurt.  Especially my family.  And all animals.  And that broccoli rabe....

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