Robert Augustus Masters

Welcome to the personal blog of Robert Augustus Masters.

The Power of Fragility


Fragility. I’ve been feeling it most of the day, regardless of my activities or moods.

We can be crushed so easily, blown away by crisis, overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of human suffering. Yes, we have a capacity to work well with such difficulty, and can be deepened through doing such work, but our place here, our evolving incarnation, is so incredibly fragile, depending in large part on processes that usually have little to do with who we take ourselves to be.

In the grander scale of things, one moment we make an appearance, the next an exit, with a bit of color and flurry and drama in between. How easily we can be uprooted, devastated, flung in multiple directions!

And we can numb ourselves to this with varying degrees of success, and call it living.

Seeing this and, more centrally, feeling this can break us open. Unguardedly feeling others’ suffering both undoes me and stretches my heart wider, deeper, fuller. Seeing your fragility, your oh so brief individuated arising, can touch me in places where I didn’t know I had places, reminding me of how similar we are, positioned in the same boat, sailing wild waters, not usually caring until our later years that the boat is, inevitably, sinking. So, so fragile.

And through opening to this fragility, this sense of shattering, we encounter a miracle: We, as we truly are, start to shine through it, holding it with great care. This is not a matter of transcendence, but of genuine intimacy. We have then not fled our fragility, nor lost ourselves in it, but have ceased making a problem out of it.