She stood at the top of the stairs, blindfolded and naked.
With a single tug on the leash, she took a shaky step forward. Her left foot came to an uneasy rest on the step below. Her right foot followed a moment later.
I signaled again and she advanced down to the next step, moving with the unsteady grace of the blind; her hands were at her sides, but at each step they would reach the slightest bit forward, fingers grasping and flinching at the unseen. Step by step, I took her down the stairs, my touch on the leather strap her sole source of guidance.
And in her descent, I found beauty.
In her trust, implicit as it was: there were no hedged moments of hesitancy as I led her down the stairs.
In her vulnerability. Divested completely of conceit, her thoughts were unguarded; I watched them play out in the sway of her body and the brisk pacing of each breath.
And in my connection to her, a pattern of direction and response played out along the length of leather from my hand to the collar around her neck.