Friday, September 08, 2006

Brave and Vulnerable

“You are brave and vulnerable.”

I know folks that have only one or the other. They list. They lean. They need things to stand complete.

The brave ones need an audience to know their strength. They need dragons to slay. They don’t understand why folks don’t thank them when they save the kingdom. I was brave in that way once.

The vulnerable need an audience to know they're alive. They need to give until they're all gone. They don’t understand why other folks have boundaries. I was that kind of vulnerable once.

I took my brave and my vulnerable out of their separate jars. They’re not broken anymore. In that way, neither am I, and in that way, I am no longer one.

Brave and vulnerable belong together, like two sides of one coin.

Brave and vulnerable make poetry and history happen. They write emails as the dawn. They make house numbers in the stars, and drink cognac in brand-new conversations.

Brave and vulnerable touch us, teach us, and change us, each brave and vulnerable, deep and wonderful breath we breathe. We touch the universe together in large and small ways that hardly anybody knows.

Brave and vulnerable, eating tea and cookies in a big leather chair, watching me write this on a dark night in Chicago with a light on faraway.

Brave and vulnerable own my heart, my mind, and every dance I do.

They are memories. They are imagination. They are two kids playing, smiling in the sunshine at six years old.

Brave and vulnerable − they are me and you.

−me strauss Letting me be


dawn said...

Good morning, Liz.
Thank you for leading me into some new thoughts this morning. Seeing brave & vulnerable in 2 separate jars,sensing they belong together,freeing them & watching them interact in yourself and in others, and then noticing what can happen as a result.

Right now it is dawn, my favorite time of day, and I'm feeling brave and vulnerable too. Thanks.

ME Strauss said...

You are brave and vulnerable in the very best way. You're stronger from it and people see it in you when you don't in yourself. You're a star in the universe of people, a soft sky in the morning just beginning.

Dawn said...

Thank you for such beautiful words and feelings, Liz.What a wonderful way to start the day. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

ME Strauss said...

Ah, Dawn,
I'm smiling to think someone has to say for you to know.

Trée said...

Liz, I am touched beyond words. I've read this post several times and will probably read it several more. I feel as if I awoke with presents under the tree this morning. Thank you my friend.

ME Strauss said...

The gift is you. This is merely a reflection.

Trée said...

Big joyful sigh. Thank you my dear friend. :-)

ME Strauss said...

Big joyful smile.

twit said...

That's the best thing I've read in quite a while.

Nice & neat too, no waffle.. perfect.

Thanks :)

ME Strauss said...

Wow! Twit,
Thank you. You must know a bit about brave and vulnerable yourself, I think.

Janus said...

I would rather be brave and invincible...but I can settle for vulnerable I guess...perhaps...maybe.

ME Strauss said...

Hey Janus,
Brave and vulnerable is an invincible combination. :)

Viaggiatore said...

aaaah, Liz. You have said it perfectly. Not all of us have it, this strange mix of brave and vulnerable. You're right - so many are one or the other. In Italian, we have a pithy expression for it - true fear and true courage are the opposite sides of the same hand; one cannot live without the other. Thank you for giving words to so many things that I have not been able to. - Viaggiatore (

ME Strauss said...

So lovely to hear from you again!
I've often thought about you since your last comment . . . Thank you for your thoughts on this.

It's a strange thing that people worry about hurting my feelings at time that I would never feel hurt from what they migth say . . . and I call me brave when I do things that seem the only right thing to do. I think I may write about this soon.

Thank you again for your comment. You make me think of the Austin skies.

bird1427 said...

Brave and vulnerable....two sides of the same coin....a very interesting combination.....what a wonderful sense of 'wholeness' is embodied in those two words. Lovely writing.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Bird 1427,
Thank you for your comment . . . it was a wise friend who first put those two words together for me. He sees things that I have to write to understand . . .

Your words mean a lot to me.