In this spirit of Valentine's Day, I've been humming love songs. One blended into the next without leaving much of a mark, but then came Bette Midler and "The Rose" (written by Amanda McBroom).
Now I hadn't heard this song since my big sister auditioned with it for a high school play (and sang it over and over and, yep, over again at home). Maybe that's why I never paid close attention to the words, but this time around, when I heard the lyrics leave my own mouth, I was amazed to find that Midler and McBroom pretty much figured out the science of intimacy and fulfillment in this verse:
"It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live."
This is essentially a song about vulnerability—about the perpetual willingness to step into the unknown and accept the surprises that dwell there.
Maybe I should have listened more closely when my sister rehearsed for her audition because this is an insight it took me awhile to get to on my own: