To write authentically we must write with abandon, accessing our innermost being. Tom Bird described it as the divine author within, not the author we should be, but the one that deep inside we truly are.
However, this requires guts, fortitude, chutzpah, balls, or whatever term you choose; because to write from one’s innermost self is to be vulnerable to the outside world. The truth is we have spent most of our lives learning how to protect our inner most self. We did not start out that way at all. As children, we are open shameless lovers of those who love us. Watch how a baby kisses its loved one, be it animal, object or person, with abandon. The child will reach out unafraid, knowing intuitively how to express love.
The kiss, then, is the most intimate expression of our willingness to be defenseless.
As we grow, we begin to assign new meaning and precautions to the kiss. We romanticize it; in fact, much of modern fiction centers on describing the kiss as the passionate bridge for would be lovers. I remember my first kiss from a boy, a most unattractive lanky creature of about 12 named Jim. He confronted me and told me that he wanted to kiss me. I had no idea why or what I was supposed to do to about it. Ultimately, I agreed, only to experience something quite unromantic. As I moved from the naiveté of the 12 year old to a teenager, adults positioned kissing as the gateway to sex and it became a point of self-defense. Kiss selectively, and lessen the risk of losing self-control.
Protecting oneself is not limited to sex, however. In the business world kissing has a protocol all its own. One learns how to kiss appropriately, when to kiss, who to kiss and definitely who not to kiss. The opportunities to reveal yourself as an ignoramus are endless and intimidating.
At the end of the day, however, the kiss reigns as the most intimate form of touch between two human beings. It is more meaningful than one hand upon another or a pat on the back. If you have ever kissed a dead body, you know how empty and unsatisfying it is. Without a spirit in the body, the kiss does not yield the same results.
I kiss my children as often as possible, and even though they are adults, surprisingly they do not object. It reconnects me to them in the most memorable and intimate way.