It’s always been really important to me to create space for vulnerability. All of the healing, all of the true connection in my life has come from someone being vulnerable… from offering up to others something that is tender and not yet ripe. Something that may make us feel silly or weak. Something that may be hard-won self-awareness. Something that may be ripe, that we may be certain of, but is still so central to who we are that it’s threatening to say it out loud. Something that we know is important, and is risky to show to another human being.

Stories are a most important part of that something. The ways we make meaning in the world are literally who we are. Others may advocate for fundraising or political change or broader awareness of critical issues in the world. I advocate for vulnerability, for sacred space, for time to speak and ears that hear the power behind stories. Listening – true listening, deep listening – is a lost art, and there are very few places left to learn it or witness it being done. Listening is hospitality, it’s making space for another person to be themselves. Listening has brought me such amazing gifts. Listening was the primary appeal of the last job I had, a job I quit (for reasons too complicated to relay here). I miss it. I’m glad for the chance to do it online, when I find blogs that offer up sacred stories. I’m so glad when writers – especially bright, reflective writers – open themselves up to being vulnerable, and I’m thrilled when they quiet themselves enough to make space for others’ vulnerability. Intelligence is valuable, but hospitality to vulnerability is the real jewel.

Gabe’s already mentioned Ellie’s questions about masculinity over at I’m really enjoying them.

One Response to “Hospitality”

  1. Christina Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 7:56 am

    This is beautiful. Stunningly beautiful. You really do need to do that whole book-writing thing…

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