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We know the surrealist solution: concrete irrationality, objective risk. Poetry is the conquest, the only possible conquest, of the ‘supreme position’, ‘a certain position of the mind from where life and death, the real and the imaginary, the past and the future… cease to be perceived in a contradictory sense.’
I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow—that’s vulnerability.
There is always going to be a risk in a new love, a difficulty to be overcome, and more so considering all the challenges facing gay love, particularly in an adolescent. The desired other person could turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, could hurt us, could even ruin us. But the risk has to be taken.
To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.
Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
I believe in clear-cut positions. I think that the most arrogant position is this apparent, multidisciplinary modesty of what I am saying now is not unconditional, it is just a hypothesis, and so on. It really is a most arrogant position. I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.
We need many more intrepid women who set out to expand both their and our concepts of the world. We need them in writing just as we need them in politics. We need that sense of adventure, of reaching wider, delving deeper, pushing further afield, whether that field be geographical, intellectual, political, personal, or all of these and more. Enough with decorousness. Let us risk preconceptions and treasured philosophies, bodies and souls. Let us be big and bawdy and full of courage. Let’s go.
In virtually every Continental state at this time, aristocracies had to live with the risk that their property might be pillaged or confiscated. Only in Great Britain did it prove possible to float the idea that aristocratic property was in some magical and strictly intangible way the people’s property also. The fact that hundreds of thousands of men and women today are willing to accept that privately owned country houses and their contents are part of Britain’s national heritage is one more proof of how successfully the British elite reconstructed its cultural image in an age of revolution.
You know, my goal, once I leave the music business, is like, ‘Man, Lupe didn’t lead us astray.’ It comes directly from Islam: leading people astray is the worst thing you could do. Especially in perpetuity; like, your music continues to go on and live without you. That risk is too great for me; I’m gonna keep it positive.