This one is difficult to write. I saw something on my way to an Alexander Technique Conference in Philadelphia Saturday morning that was terrifying and intensely beautiful at the same time. I know I need to share this though I have not been able to talk about it at all since seeing it.
There wasn’t much traffic going into Philadelphia Saturday morning so I was going pretty fast. Along the very side of the highway, at the exact side of the outer lane, not back and off to the side, was a large deer sitting upright and looking back to the cars going by. I have never seen anything like that before. He looked so serene I thought it might be a statue. He was upright, with his legs tucked underneath him. The image was stunning and deeply frightening at the same time. He was poised and beautiful and very large, and intensely vulnerable. He must have been hit by a car and was either completely stunned or his legs were injured. I can’t think of any other explanation for that.
I gasped and found it hard to breathe and was so frightened for that beautiful creature. He was so vulnerable sitting there with nowhere to go. It’s hard for me to fathom how he got there and of course, what happened to him after I drove by. I could not, and can not get the image of him out of my mind. My mind has wanted, and continues to want to make up stories about him and what happened.
This is important in relation to Cindy Love.
Cindy was completely vulnerable. Anyone could hurt her or take advantage of her if they wanted to. She was defenseless and totally exposed. And she was so innocent, totally innocent, like a deer on the side of the road not knowing what potential harm could come to her but being there because she had no choice. I won’t think about or dwell on what may have happened to Cindy Love in her time with others. It is too painful. I hope others always treated her with kindness and dignity.
That kind of vulnerable frightens me deeply and yet I know I am like that deer on the side of the highway as well as Cindy Love was like that deer. We are and were both so vulnerable, in our own ways. Is it possible that in truth we all are that vulnerable and just don’t know it?
I have some strong beliefs;
I believe it is our duty to protect others.
I believe it is our duty to care for those who can not care for themselves.
I believe it is our duty to be there to support those beings that have no words for themselves and who are so vulnerable of being run over in this world.
I believe it is our duty to love one another.
There, I said it. It is our duty to love. I believe that, or I want to believe that. And yet I still go to a conference and fear what others think of me and my ability, my intelligence, my success. I look at others and see what’s wrong or lacking and I know I am looking at myself and fearing that I am not enough. Though I project onto them my own fears about myself somewhere in me I know it has nothing to do with them. It is about my own vulnerability and fear of not being good enough, smart enough, strong enough, anything enough.
You know what the real, honest the truth, duty is here? We need to take care of our self. We need to love our self so much that we never hurt another. We need to have the eyes to see that you and me the same and so if I hurt you, I hurt me.
If I protect you, I protect me.
If I love you, I love me.
I honestly don’t know what I’m trying to say. I know the thought of that deer on the side of the road was terrifying and exquisitely beautiful at the same time. It took my breath away. I want that deer to mean something. And I hope someone came along and helped that beautiful being find safety in whatever way was best for him. What is the point if he only suffers?
Was it Cindy’s journey to teach others how to love?
Was it that deer’s journey to teach us about vulnerability? To be open to the terrifying and exquisite vulnerability that is inherent in all living creatures so that we can hold with love and kindness that which is in front of us? What else is there in this world but the duty and the privilege to care for and love one another? What hope do we have as a planet if we don’t?