In a perfect world, I would be able to communicate without fear. Transparency would be as easy as inhaling and exhaling, and the concept of ‘naked and not ashamed’ would apply spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Children are this way naturally- and if they are not so, it is usually due to unnatural circumstances. Honesty would be a virtue that all would aspire to. In a perfect world, I would be able to see my grandson without feeling like I have to do so around his mother’s back. I would be able to relax in the the knowledge that I am loved by my children. But the world is not perfect, and my demons of insecurity leap out from behind places where emotional stakes are high. I wrestle with loneliness and isolation, and at the same time, am too shy to venture out past the comfortable seclusion that envelopes me within the walls of my house. Community is something that is there for others, but not a place where I feel accepted. Somehow, I must cross the threshold of trust. But so many of my relationships are constrained by boundaries, and may be defined as little more than professional in nature- sort of a friendship by employ. How can I break out of this blackness?