Tenderness--that timid little beast full of its own kind of ferocity. It dares what no one else will: to reach beyond the safety of its armor and the armor of others to stop the world with a soft caress, a squeeze of a hand, or a gentle whisper of things half-said.
It is enough to acknowledge and be acknowledged it says. Enough to cast aside the temptation to perpetually coat your words in irony, your face in schooled ennui. Tenderness does not just wear its heart on its sleeve but carves it upon its skin, a reminder that there are blood and bones beneath our shells, and --tucked behind a living cage--a full beating heart.
It might feel like a bruise at times, that carving, or a pulsing scar, but that is only because it must feel, always feel everything around it so as never to be fossilized by urbane manners or cool posturing. Those things do not touch it, will not touch it. Must not touch it.
This little beast knows that to cast aside its armor, so shoddily made of unfounded fears, is to become stronger--to offer itself up to the world as a song of muscle and memory so as to see whose soul beats in time with its own.
There, there lies the naked power of tenderness.
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