Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

But these readers see another, different kind of vulnerability. Oprah Winfrey does, too, as I learned this week. On her Oprah Daily website, she has begun doing a series of “The Life You Want” classes, and she invited me to join her for one on Tuesday night to discuss my new book, “The Beauty of Dusk.” (The Times ran this excerpt last week.)

I’ll admit to being wowed simply that an advance copy had found its way into her hands, let alone that she’d read and wanted to talk about it. She specifically wanted to discuss its portrait of vulnerability and my description of my compromised and imperiled eyesight not as a diminution but as an education. She wanted to ponder vulnerability as a means of connection, a bridge.

And that is, indeed, how I tend and try to see it. To be vulnerable is to be more alert and ideally more sensitive to what’s going on around you. To be vulnerable is to let others in, and there’s promise as well as peril in that. To admit to vulnerability is to own up to being human. You show me someone who’s alive; I’ll show you someone who’s vulnerable.

There are days, sure, when my vulnerability feels like powerlessness and I tremble inside. There are quite a number of them, and that’s not about my eyesight but about a thousand other things — about the evanescence of pleasures that I so wish I could hold on to, about the inconstancy of people whom I’d prefer to depend on, about my own failure to keep some of the promises that I’ve explicitly or implicitly made, about the limits of my energy, which once seemed boundless.

I’m vulnerable to great disappointment. But that goes hand in hand with being open to great joy.

— Frank Bruni, from “Putin Is Teaching Us a Brutal Lesson About History” (NY Times, February 24, 2022).  Bruni had a rare stroke several years ago which damaged his optic nerve and severely impaired his eyesight. Read more here.

Comments

  1. he’s an amazing writer. I knew him years ago, when I was in advertising promoting films, and he was a film critic for the detroit free press. very intelligent, thoughtful, and a brilliant writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘The evanescence of pleasures”.. – what a gorgeous line.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Similarities in your share today with this share from 11/29/2015 both men have lost sight in one eye & gained much insight in themselves and in life…
    Howard Axelrod, Two years in the woods: No computer, no television, no cellphone — but I was no Thoreau
    “The Point In Vanishing
    https://davidkanigan.com/2015/11/29/for-the-deepest-moments-in-life-for-love-for-prayer-we-close-our-eyes-i-wanted-to-see-that-way/

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: