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This post is part of a series about people from whom I am learning:

“I fell asleep while doing my breathing treatment,” Lillian wrote on Twitter, “and dreamt @wordwill sent me an email that turned into a box of singing black feathers.” Lillian’s marvelous mind doesn’t operate quite like mine but I have a visceral, immediate appreciation for the way it operates. Lillian, like everyone, is more than one thing — she’s a journalist, editor, gamer, philosopher, more, more, more — and she’s living a varied and exciting life. I hope that calm and respite and simple pleasures don’t lose their sheen compared to her days in security, in danger, in the air above up on the flying trapeze. She’s teaching me things about how I appear from the outside, how we appear from the outside, and how we sometimes hide, sometimes show, sometimes both at once. Lillian shines like a bright new coin; turn it over and marvel at the date on it. Turn it over again and a third surface reveals itself. Turn it, turn it, again and again, and the coin keeps revealing new surfaces, new depths that finally combine when you balance the thing on its edge and spin it. Look, friend, as the myriad coins contained in the one blend together to reveal a single face, animated by the spin: Lillian, smiling and pensive, tasting everything you say and seeing past your surface to the human within.