“you become. it takes a long time. that’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. but these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
— margery williams, from the velveteen rabbit
today marks the beginning of what i hope becomes an edifying, enlivening adventure for you and me on the briny. this is the first post of a new blog series i’m calling sincerity for a sunday. my conception of sincerity has little to do with virtue or religion or even truth; instead, i invoke sincerity as it relates to the real and to the process of becoming. i think that process can take infinite shapes and forms and what transpires — no matter how it looks — is sincerity.
i pursue this project because i don’t think sincerity gets enough play in our daily, colloquial, social awareness. too often in its place, we as purveyors of our own personalities scan for easier cues to confirm that we can or should connect with another human being. sameness is an especially easy cue to pick up on (“likemindedness” being its pallid, euphemistic aura). we forsake a real, multifaceted, and mindful connection for something — anything — less risky: usually a laugh; sometimes a half-hearted alienation of someone or something else to prove how “like” we are, indeed. when we groom the things that make us us to others to be so superficial, we lose out on the opportunity for real, meaningful exchange; we mock sincerity with palatibility.
when a religious defiance of seriousness stifles the capacity for sincerity, comedy becomes a burden — not a relief.
but i think conversations — even the ones we have as we sit with our hands on our keyboards and touchscreens — can change that in a positive and beautiful way. my intent for posts within the sincerity for a sunday series is to create and curate moments and expressions of realness and sincerity gleaned from or inspired by happenings in the world and on the blogosphere. i hope to contribute posts to this series each weekend or every other, but above maintaining a fixed schedule, i want to bring you something real every time.
in sharing my own thoughts and reflections, i seek a sweet spot between forming a narrative so definitive that each post feels like a standalone episode or an encased collection of my ideas, and leaving reflections so nebulous and minimal that they don’t communicate anything graspable. i envision each post as beginning; a question mark in the form of my two hands opening toward yours. i hope you feel included and so completely welcomed to make this space and this project yours, too.
even in this small way, i hope to create and inspire a space that allows sincerity to grow and flourish. with this as its introduction, i open the door for sincerity and leave you with this as our welcome.
the time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. eat.
you will love again the stranger who was your self.
give wine. give bread. give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
sit. feast on your life.
— derek walcott, love after love