without walls

“Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.” -William Blake

Life is a story, told in fragments.

At home, our apartment is not well insulated. It is one of six 1-bedroom, ground level apartments in our complex — the type made for the free flow of warm Floridian air to circulate throughout. Now that it is less humid, we open our windows and avoid using the AC. Our neighbors leave their doors wide open and we all exchange privacy for fresh “autumn” air.

At church, I help out as one of the youth group leaders. Last week, Summer gave me a word: that I could be vulnerable with those who are trying to love me, that I did not have to be afraid they would abuse it.

In August-December 2010, I studied abroad in the Pacific. In Samoa, we would talk about how the architecture clearly reflects their communal culture: Houses are open fales, comprised of wooden posts supporting a domed roof. Traditionally, there are no rooms, no doors, no barriers. “The only walls that exist are those in our minds.”

The day I decided I loved Noah was also a day I hated him. It was an occasion in which he spoke some truth into my life, addressing thoughts I never told him. I remember feeling alarmed at his audacity, as I perceived it, and the power he had to take away my agency to share what went on behind my eyes.

I go to sleep each night in an exposed safety, next to the man with whom I have become one, with all our windows open, breathing in the sounds of sleepy suburbia. It was not an easy journey, but in retrospect, deciding to move here for the sake of community was one of the best decisions I could have made.

I don’t live life on my own, and now I don’t have to pretend to.

*

Related posts:

On making the most difficult decision of my life

On “settling down” in marriage

On being vulnerable with others

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2 comments

  1. Bethany Goodson Brown,
    I love you :)
    that’s all I wanted to say

    well, jk, and thank you, thank you for sharing your heart and your thoughts with me (and everyone else)

    Like

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