Inktober 15: Weak || "A Knight in shining armour is a man who has never had his metal [mettle?] tested"
Weakness = vulnerability? For "WEAK", I deliberately looked for the most macho symbol I could find - and invert it.
Like Scout and Jem, I grew up mildly disappointed that my dad never conformed to archetypes of manhood, like swilling beer and watching the EPL. So I grew up somewhere nearer the margins of boy- and manhood, always a little awkward that I could never be as muscular, as soccerish, as loud, as unruly, as "fun", as what Real Boys "should" be.
But that has privileged me with more nuanced ideas of what it means to be a man, a person. I've learnt to see how strength comes in diverse ways, not just in muscles or money, steel or sticks. I've learnt that courage is not just a man with a gun; nor the fastest highest longest.
Likewise, I've learned that weakness is not failure, but the inability/fear to fail. Weakness is brittle masculinity: afraid to admit wrongdoing, to be SEEN as weak. To hide in shells of shining armour, unwilling and unable to open up.
I want instead an adventurer's mantle: weathered and worn by the elements, of journey and story. Clean, but well-used.
I want to be unafraid of weakness: to remain humble and weak and ignorant, so that I can still learn the world; so that it can still teach me, endlessly, the magic of peoples and places and perspectives.
Not a Knight in shining armour, ensconced in power privilege and plate, blinded and narrowed, waiting for war. I want to open, and open again; and live my one wild and precious life.
@ @ @