Sunday, October 2, 2016

Stripping Down

It has been a minute since I’ve taken pen to page. I would like to say my head is bursting with thought just waiting to be put to print. This is not the case. I have been leaning on friends when I would have turned to pen. They are still with me, these friends. They have not yet run. That is inherent in the definition, I guess. Still, I find it a miracle akin to those performed by Jesus himself.

For those of us used to pretending, unused to exposing ourselves, the soft shoulder of an understanding soul is a wonderful yet terrifying thing. It feels good to release, unburden. It is a novel idea, but there is the feeling always that I will be turned away. I am only now learning trust.

Can I be my ugliest, craziest, most confusing self and still be loved? How does that work? I poured myself, recently, through the screen to a friend who listened and did not judge. Or maybe he did but did not say. Maybe he wanted to reach through that screen and shake a little sense into my head. The words were firm but kind, the conversation caring. I cried. I laughed. I thanked the universe for this person and his presence in my life. He gives me a feeling of feeling cared for. I like that. I hope he feels the same.

I had lunch with another. Over a panini and a stir-fry, we caught each other up in the goings-on of our lives. We marveled at how individuals always seem to be in a state of flux. No matter the feeling of routine or boredom, there is always transition taking place, lessons being learned, lives being changed. I write too much in the passive. Let’s say it how it is. We both feel at places in-between, not there but not quite here. It comforted me to know I am not the only one. This friend and I have been around the friendship block. We have shared a thing or two. She has seen me in my many colors. As I have seen her. And yet here we are, lunching on tofu, potatoes, and hummus, talking about tables and butcher block and children that are grown. It is just a regular day.

How did friendship get to be a thing?

I would like to give an award to the person who invented it. I would say in my speech, thank you. Thank you for making people whom you can emotionally undress in front of, who know you in all your forms. Thank you for making people who see your weaknesses and yet still keep coming around. Bring them light. Sing joy into their lives. And, please, whatever you do, bring them the knowledge that they are appreciated, celebrated, and loved.

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