Humans can be porcupinish in nature. You get too close and their adrenaline kicks in, triggering a panicky spray of barbed quills, homing in on your most vulnerable places, usually the face and eyes.
And why would one place their face so close to a human? Because of love and friendship of course. Because someone has to take the risk, step in deep, show their soul, and because one is willing to believe the best, for the conflict exists only within the mind of the porcupine, who cautiously welcomes you in, keeping the quills slicked-back, until you request some authenticity in return, which is perceived as a massive threat, thus triggering the impulsive attack.
And there it is lying on top. It’s always on top. The oily stain of “that should teach you”. But it rarely does, for the heart is both predatory and pollyanna, risking all for the hunt and the soul softening hug of answered friendship.
Sometimes I want to hide from people, and at other times I want to spray them with some of my own quills, but mostly I just want to love them.
How do you hug a porcupine? Bravely and wholeheartedly, expecting nothing in return, while being prepared to run like hell.
Love bears the scars of trying.