My soft friend,
I feel hard, hard like a rock-hard. Cynical and paranoid like poker-faced border guards eyeing your passport, suspicious like security officials patting you down, their calloused hands rough, impervious to your tender.
I feel envious-hard of the people making it, the connected people, the ones that are taken care of, the people that know people that know people. The people with followers, the people on lists, the favorite people and the people that get mentioned here there and everywhere even while I can’t stand them and I’m tired to death of their endless blah-blahs and am wishing with all my heart for what they don’t ever seem to say.
I want to hear that they are scared. That they too wake up in the middle of the night and hold their pillows. I want to hear that they don’t know shit, not really, that they are making it up, and that they are afraid that if they stop moving for one second their security will go the way of fog in sun.
I miss you, my soft friend. Where did you go? I miss all my friends who moved on, my friends who left the noise of the crowded coops of our common places… I miss being where you are and the pockets of skip-a-beat joy I remember feeling whenever you entered rooms where the doors have now been locked or yellow-taped with Do Not Enter as if someone had been shot.
Really I am tired, so tired, but I walk around with this shield of busy, and this other shield of numbness, and this other shield which you could call my Shield of Surely: surely there is something wrong with me, or surely there is something wrong with you, or surely things are not at all OK. Surely. It’s a heavy shield.
OK that’s not quite it either. Really I am tired of the ramblings of this mind. I’d like to find it a home. Do you know of a home for a tired mind? A soft, strong home where the only thing rambling is a porch deep and wide enough to hold the nothings that my mind keeps chasing? A porch with a swing that will back and forth my mind to sleep and hold me while I rest?
Can I tell you that even my limbs are tired? That my cheeks they hurt from the tight of not crying? Can I tell you that my heart wakes me up in the dark before the world has stirred to remind me of what silence sounds like and that, often, unable to bear it for too long I reach too soon for that hopeless little screen, to restart the checking and rechecking of just one more thing?
Oh my friend. I write this to the olive branch that thinking of you this morning brought me. It’s a gentle, simple, uncomplicated olive branch that never speaks in shoulds, that never acts like she knows better, that is no more moved by pity than by hatred. It’s an olive branch of arms around me, openhearted, an olive branch of here’s a bowl of soup I made it for you my love, an olive branch of tell me what you love and I will hold the mirror for you my darling drumstick, an olive branch that smiles at my dramas and takes my hand all the same, calm and twinkly-eyed, laughing and curly-cued, maybe a few steps ahead but never too far, turning, grinning, C’mon, my sweet! I have things to show you! There are pools in which to skinny dip, there are beaches on which to lie, there are drinks with umbrellas, there are treehouses, there are secret rooms, there are magical delights, and yes, my love, there are lips waiting to be kissed.
My soft friend, quick! Please! Tell me what I love without complication, without drama, without panic? Because oh my but I want to remember.
Surely there is a field somewhere in the world where at this very moment the foggy shadows of the night are meeting the just-stirring rays of morning and the darkness and the light are about to make themselves some tender love— surely. Will you meet me there?
See you soon, I hope,
Your hard friend
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
–Rumi (13th century Sufi poet & mystic)
Last night driving home from a long doctor visit with the Little Bird, a Great Blue Heron flew overhead.
These cycles that turn and turn us with them.
They never stop or slow, even when we want to scream, let me off!
But even so–even so.
There is so much beauty in the turning.
Your mirror makes me think of Cohen’s song “Suzanne.” Perhaps a good one to listen to on a hard/soft day!
Respect and affection, Somerville comrade.
*offering a gentle hug and a warm, soft shoulder* That was beautiful Heidi.
I woke up this morning thinking of you.
Last night was a late one, so the sun was already up, birds already mid-conversation, when my kitty trilled me awake. And somehow your face was before me — eyes twinkling and bright, heart radiant. This unexpected thought of you made me wake up smiling; a sunbeam for my morning.
xo to you, my dear.
Yes. This. Exactly.
sending hugs from the hard places I’m hanging out in…
And the sun came
and the hard friend felt a loosening
she saw that
she was not the only one.
eyes met eyes
hearts met hearts
hard met soft
My friends, my poet friends, you teach me how to be with hard: calm, patient, understanding, nodding… never telling it it should leave.
Emily, I’ve copied your words. They are a poem on my desk, now.
I’m sitting with you all in a tea circle. “Suzanne” is playing in the background from the other room. We are not a loud bunch this morning, but I notice our eyes are bright as hard meets soft meets hard again.
Hoping you refind your soft places soon.
They are so hard to be away from. 🙂