My new Sophia drawing: “Shy”

"Sophia Shy" drawing by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Sophia Shy” drawing by nakedpastor David Hayward

OWN THE ORIGINAL OR A PRINT OF “SHY”
My life used to be so full of people!

Every week, sometimes several times, like clockwork, I thrust myself into the midst of the devout throng to conform and perform.

Was that the price for love?

It was beautiful then I thought.

Now, I wonder… How beautiful was it, actually? Because I would never go back! I would never pay that price again! If it was so beautiful, why don’t I want it again?

So I escaped.

I ran into the wilderness.

The wilderness isn’t one of physical deserts, forests, and beasts. It is a wilderness of metaphysical ones!

Here, in my spiritual wilderness, I endure long dry spells of incredible thirst. I get entangled in limbs of bewildering confusion. I encounter wild beasts both within and without. And, above all, loneliness.

But I’d rather this than a domestic and docile compliance!

However, I must continue to be honest: I do miss people.

Friends used to abound. Now they’re almost nowhere to be found!

I’m like a fox. Sly and shy.

Is it because I don’t want to be hurt again? Is it that I don’t ever want to submit again?

Or, is it about trust? Can I trust people not to subdue me? And can I trust myself not to allow it?

I love the wilderness. I’d live here if I must. But I’d rather visit it than dwell in it forever.

I love people, but I’d rather be myself alone than be a stranger to myself and to them in their midst.

If they welcomed me to their fire, I think I might go. As long as it was understood that it would be really me.

I’ve become shy. Like a fox.

It’s how I, yes I, survive.

(*** You should order my very popular graphic book The Liberation of Sophia, a collection of 59 Sophia drawings and meditations like this one.)

SHOP

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8 Responses

  1. Kelly Westover says:

    Thank you David. As usual, you speak my heart.

  2. Amber Williamson says:

    Wow, this resonates.

  3. Brian Wilker-Frey says:

    This reminds me of Parker Palmer’s book “A Hidden Wholeness.” Here is a quote (pages 58-59):
    “… despite its toughness, the soul is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush, especially when other people are around. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently at the base of a tree, breathe with the earth, and fade into our surroundings, the wild creature we seek might put in an appearance. We may see it only briefly and only out of the corner of an eye – but the sight is a gift we will always treasure as an end in itself.

    “Unfortunately, community in our culture too often means a group of people who go crashing through the woods together, scaring the soul away. In spaces ranging from congregations to classrooms, we preach and teach, assert and argue, claim and proclaim, admonish and advise, and generally behave in ways that drive everything original and wild into hiding”

    Can’t recommend this book highly enough.

  4. I have tons of respect for Palmer and I love that book too. Thanks. I’d forgotten about that section. It really does apply.

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