Porcupines don’t always want to be alone. But love turns out to be a risky business when you’re a porcupine. This is the Porcupine’s Dilemma: How do you get close without getting hurt? This is our dilemma too.
Every one of us carries our own little arsenal. Our barbs have names like rejection, condemnation, resentment, arrogance, selfishness, envy, contempt. Some people hide them better than others, but get close enough and you will find out they’re there. We, too, find ourselves hurting (and being hurt by) those we long to be closest to. And, of course, we can usually think of a number of particularly prickly porcupines in our lives. But the problem is not just them. I’m somebody’s porcupine. So are you.
In an image too wonderful to be made up, naturalist David Costello writes, “Males and females may remain together for some days before mating. They may touch paws and even walk on their hind feet in the so-called ‘dance of the porcupines.’"
It turns out there really is an answer to the ancient question, how do porcupines make love? They pull in their quills and learn to dance.
It’s time to pull in your quills and start dancing.
Extracted from the book Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg. Copyright © 2003 by John Ortberg. Publisher: Zondervan. Image credit: https://tinyurl.com/y5vm57xv