Monday, June 18, 2007

Naked in the Classroom

I had a dream once where I was part of a class, learning to manage the principles of time travel. In the dream I had just taken a shower, and showed up in the classroom wearing nothing but a towel. I was embarrassed and wanted to get dressed.

At the time, I wondered if the dream might be about the vulnerability I felt, having published some fairly personal things in print and on the Internet. I wondered if the dream was telling me I ought to go back and cull certain things I've published on my web site. Especially things I published at a time when I saw things quite differently from the way I see them now.

I've always been a heart-on-sleeves kind of guy. My partner tells me I am literally incapable of telling a lie, partly because my emotions are always so close to the surface, so visible. Being personal is just the way I move through the world.

So with experience and deeper reflection, I understand that dream in a different way now. Life is a classroom where we all learn to manage the principles of time, space, and matter. In a sense, we are all naked in the classroom, all showing our inadequacies to the world for all to see. If we aren't, it probably means we're not learning. Censoring my past or covering my flaws doesn't make me a better, wiser person. Only becoming a better, wiser person does that.

So I have, for the time being, put those fears to rest. I look back now on things I've written in the past as part of the journey, and am willing to ask simply that friends and enemies alike be willing to forgive or overlook my flaws, just as I forgive and overlook yours.

2 comments:

Knight of Nothing said...

I think of you as one of the most emotionally and intellectually honest people I know, but I also think of you as shy and reserved. So I gained a little insight about you by reading this.

I think your refusal to censor yourself is both courageous and practical. The butterfly doesn't loathe its cocoon. It leaves it behind for others to reckon with.

J G-W said...

Thank you. Your friendship has provided the framework for much of my personal growth. Knowing that you've been there and will be there for us means a lot...

In my life, I've left some very interesting cocoons behind.