Nakedness is a condition I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as a writer and as a person. I am not naturally guarded. While I can be shy sometimes, it results in a hesitance on my part – a momentary distance – not a wall. People reach across the space I create all the time, and I grab hold. In the middle, where we converge, that’s where the magic happens. It’s where hearts soar and sometimes break, where exhilaration and longing are really just two sides of the same coin.

I can be quite fearless there, one on one.

But naked out in public – in my work, on the blog – that’s harder. Ultimately, I think it’s worth it. Not every piece I write, or every post I publish, requires me to write close to my heart, but when they do, when submitting the work or pressing the “publish” button feels scary, that’s when I find the most meaningful connections occur, when I find I’m not as alone as I thought I was.

In his essay, “The Loser’s Club,” Michael Chabon writes, “Art… asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude.” For me, that’s true. I write to communicate and in communicating, connect. It amazes me how lonely we can feel in a world so crowded. I think that’s why little acts of kindness never feel little, why we are biologically altered by each others touch, why love makes us feel so alive and endings sometimes feel like little deaths…

So maybe in my physical life, I’m only comfortable going barefoot at the beach. (I love my tennies.) But in my mind, in my heart, in the words I offer up, I will strive to be barefoot… even if it means, occasionally, someone’s bound to step on my toes.

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