Vulnerability

 I took these pictures at a beach in Penang, Malaysia, a few weeks ago. 

My son and husband were playing with sticks in the sand and jumping in and out of waves and letting the ocean bury their feet under the wet in-between, where the water kisses the shore. A skeleton of a leaf caught my attention and I looked through it to see the world from a different perspective. I played with my camera’s focus. I played with my perspective. The air was breezy and the heat felt light for a change, probably the wispy layers of clouds helped. It was a lovely moment, an insignificant 10 minutes of breathing in and out and thinking of little. The memory is a quiet, nice one. And I know there are many such moments in a life, at least in mine. I’m grateful for that. 
 At the same time I’m struck by the beautiful and horrible vulnerability I see in my pictures, especially the last one. It’s a bit of a cliché, I know but – I see my heart on the outside of my body -- in the form of my little boy, playing in the sand, near the great big ocean, under a darkening sky, and next to an impossibly lacy and delicate leaf. Is it strange that looking at these images makes me happy and shaky all at once?

Like it all could crack with the slightest touch, and the delicate beauty could break.
Perhaps that’s a bit dreary of me to say. It was only a happy moment where I was playing with my camera. But when I was my son’s age, I had just lost my father. One of the earliest things I learned was the vulnerability of “normal” and the preciousness of small moments like these.
I only bother to write about all this because I took these pictures, and sometimes I bother to free-write about pictures to improve my writing or to clear my head. I realize what would normally be something I’d only put in my regular journal, I’m posting on my blog, at least this once, even though it makes me feel a little shy to do so, because life can be a richer thing if you occasionally let yourself be a little vulnerable, don’t you think?