The Paradox of Vulnerability


Funny thing, vulnerability. To be vulnerable literally means exposed to danger, and we learn to avoid this state as a means of survival. Yet we also require vulnerability as a means to connect interpersonally. As a society we are experiencing a generational changing of the guard, as vulnerability and access to one’s feelings are increasingly seen as strengths; repressed feelings can cause a lack of emotional well being as well as mental and physical illness. What a conundrum: this concept that protects us, can kill us. Snow leopards - a protected species - are capable killers who stalk their prey in silence as they prowl on the insteps of their feet. The snow leopard symbolizes trusting one’s own instincts and preparing for a major turning point in life. The stunningly beautiful black diamond lenten rose grows in shade and can be poisonous if eaten in large quantities (LOL - I think we’re safe here, people). What a paradox we must live, learning to be vulnerable to thrive as a fully realized being, and protecting oneself while navigating this complicated labyrinth we call life. 

The original was 100% hand drawn with graphite and ink and colored with watercolors, gouache and acrylic marker. 

©2019 Michael Rohner