Lately I had the chance to think about the permeability that everybody experiences sooner or later in life. Even hard headed people like me, or the many obstinate people inhabiting the planet are permeable. To what, has to be seen. And what they do with this…quality when they finally realize they have it, also.

I believe that the more permeable a person is, the bigger the effort he or she makes to manifest as unbreakable. And in relationships this dishonesty can be fatal.

This could be, in fact, a defensive mechanism based on a false consideration: it seems that being permeable, therefore sensitive like a litmus paper, therefore a candidate for whatever a reaction, would be a sign of weakness. Of… lack of preparation.

Actually, if we have built good relationships, even the fact that we recognize ourselves as being soft in some areas should not put us in any difficult position: the love of the ones we have around affects us, and it shows that we are fine just as we are.

Nevertheless, the contrary happens – exactly as if we had come in late for work, or when at school it happened that we had not done our homeworks. Or if we had taken the disabled parking space. It has happened, we are oh-so-sorry about it, still the sense of responsibility is pushing us down and we feel uncomfortable.

I am thinking not so much about my own permeability – I am Leo after all, I regally take it for granted that what I mean, do, think, falls radiantly on everything around me, crystal clear and unmistakable (otherwise and shortly, this would be called EGO) – but about the permeability of those I love. They sometimes suffer my high level of energy, my impetuosity, my spontaneous manifestations… spontaneous but powerful.

While being the way I am, I notice how much I take it for granted that, in a relationship with me, the other person is so stable (ergo, feeling at home, stable inside) to know that I am not assaulting, I am not breaking the banks, I am not… attacking the other person’s permeability. I am not highlighting any lack, I am not putting into evidence any incapability of keeping the level.

So, what am I doing?

I am collecting the attention, the warmth, the nearness that I am feeling and… I appreciate.

I am letting myself go.

I am melting… a candy under the sun.

Among the qualities in our mind, clarity is amazing, but it runs the risk of being cold if it comes without the combination love-and-compassion, going beyond having something or somebody to be loving and compassionate to. Even if we are not aware of this, clarity is like a golden vein inside us. It has not been planted, it is already inside the rocky mountain and step after step, pickaxe after pickaxe, we can free such a vein. It is one of our natural qualities and we discover that it is so also thanks to recognizing we are permeable.

In the same moment while we feel… soft, a certain kindness arises inside us, and effortlessly we give it as a present to others, but first of all, to ourselves.

It is in this moment that being permeable shows his advantages; now we understand that there is an indefinite area, inside a relationship, in which the permeability of one and the other intertwine and turn into openness, intimacy of some kind, recognition of a fertile ground – a ground predisposed to growth.

Recognizing this, in my case, means being soft and fluid although showing vigor.

Having said this, to the question: What am I doing? Now the answer is: I am laying down the arms.

The warrior woman does not need to fight anymore.


Olafur Eliasson

The Weather Project

Tate Modern


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