This is how I would like to write to you:
I want to write about something that leaves you feeling good.
Goodness, to me, is really about connection: are we connected with ourselves? Are we really connected with the part of ourselves that knows that a problem is just a thought? Just a little zooming thing inside our brains that zaps and boings from spot to spot until we’ve woven stories and developed opinions and picked sides.
We don’t even need to go to war to be at war.
Doesn’t that seem just so…busy?
Don’t we all want to just sit down and relax and feel like the lining of the inside of our skin is a peaceful place to be?
I’m not saying, let’s not discuss—no: let’s discuss everything.
Let me write about the times that I’ve been frustrated, the times that I’ve been heartbroken, the times that you and I did not get along so well. I will write about me being pissed off and all my misanthropic tendencies that you sometimes look at and say, maybe we should take a break, you just seem to need some space...
But let me write in such a way that when you sit down to read, we hold each other’s hands: I will take your palm and grip around the bony mass of thumb and we shall sway together back and forth until I am finished writing and you are finished reading.
I want you to have just 10 minutes of reading where you are so inside of my keyboard that you forget that you ever had troubles of your own—you forget that you’re feeling generally lonely these days, you forget that you think the world is being run by aliens, you forget that you hate the neighbor’s dog.
Perhaps these thoughts are not gone—perhaps you will come again to these thoughts thousands of times after we leave each other. That’s okay—because our only job (this is a relationship that you and I have, you know that, don’t you?) is to create a new moment for you to step away from those thoughts long enough that when they come back to you (which they will), you will have the choice to change them.
I can feel you reading this. Do you know? I can feel your eyes and although I do not know what exactly your thoughts are, I know you have some.
If you were not reading this, would I write this? There is a question that I should answer, because I do not want to take you for granted. I do not want to assume that you will just be there, waiting for me to say something, anything, and give you something only because you ask for it.
I would like to write because I feel my spirit say so, and if no one stops to read my etchings on the sidewalk, I do not even want to notice.
But if you stop to see the etchings, I will acknowledge you. I will acknowledge that you and I, two mammals who must feel somewhat similar to each other, are sharing space and time, and no one has shared space and time quite the way we’re doing it now. The acknowledgment is not that I turn to say, “thank you, I’ve noticed you’ve taken an interest in my etchings, how very kind of you today.” When you stop to take interest, you remind me that I can always choose to be the best Me, which is my full acknowledgment to you because it is in those moments of noticing that I have a choice in how I view my life, that I feel truly alive.
It doesn’t matter if you stop to say, your etchings suck, go to Hell! or, I love your etchings, I walk by this sidewalk everyday to see if you have new ones: you remind me that when I refer to my life, I should refer to it as a gift.
After you walk away from my etchings, wherever it is you go—the hardware store, church, school, the gym—may you go feeling lighter in your worry. May your cares and your concerns feel less important, and may you enjoy yourself with the contentment that my kissing hedgehog salt and pepper shakers have for each other.
When I write, I do not want you to feel any of the following: stupid, out-of-the-loop, part of the in-crowd, better than me, worse than me, pissed off, indignant, right or wrong. I do not believe these to be true, and I do not believe these to be necessary to make the world a better place.
Instead, remember the last time you sat in front of a fire? Or you got a pedicure? A massage? An afternoon nap in the sun? A whiff of the pillow your lover sleeps on every night? A bubble bath?
I don’t think we need healing, I think we need living: we need our lives filled with things that make our hearts go and stop, and our eyes widen and narrow, and our feet running and planting.
May we use our lives to praise our lives.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise