> jumping into life.

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Do you remember the hawks that ushered us into Burlington? One after another they appeared, dark against the snow and the winter sky. We smiled, delighted, called them Omens, called them Blessings. I was afraid even then; I am afraid now. I didn't understand it then, nor do I now, what deep yearning pulls me towards you, what deep fear pulls me away. I loved you from the moment I saw you: impossible but true. Perhaps that is the root of both tendencies, the love pulling me near, the fear of love driving me back.

Fear of love? It feels like a betrayal to admit it. You see me more clearly than anyone I've known, and I am afraid of that. You love me, perhaps, more fully, and I am afraid of that. If I am to be loved completely, seen completely, completely met and understood, there will be no room to hide. There will be no space to evade, to play the tricks or pull the wool as I am accustomed to doing, to pretend that I am something other than - less than - I am. I think that you will force me to be completely myself, with all the flaws and also all the potential I am afraid of. So I am afraid of you. It is easier to ride in mediocrity, for all my brash announcements to the contrary. Easier to stay with the familiar. Easier to engage in relationships wherein I have the upper hand. You will push me out of all that, and I want it and I am terrified.

But I want it. I want it more and more clearly these days. The practice demands it, too. Perhaps that is some of it: I have begun to see how deep a change might be wrought by coming fully present to myself. Again the two-pronged pull. If I face you - heart in my teeth - I must face myself. What could be more terrifying? What could be more liberating? What more could I want? The hawks wheel in the sky of memory, inviting me in. Everything must be forsaken if we are to be transformed. Let go; let go; go.

Your writing, as it has a few times now, manages to touch on something in me that recoils from recognition. These are hard truths to acknowledge, not to mention speak out loud.

Thank you for bringing me a little bit closer to myself.

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