I've been following along with the story of a new person born last week. I know his grandmas, and I've been privileged to follow his story online, as he was born and lived his first days, and it touched me so much. He was so loved even before he got here, it was a nice touchstone amid some upheaval for me, and honestly, I'm not touched frequently with that kind of circle-of-life energy. All of mine in recent years has been watching elders pass, with no replacement of babies and new life to take their place, and as much as I loved those people (even my poor little old dog, because I did love him, so much) it's hard to have that kind of energy without a counterpoint. I also don't live among children now, or pregnant women, or that many people, honestly, so it was nice to even see it from a distance.
Tonight I saw a picture of this tiny person meeting one of his grandmas for the first time, and I broke down in a way that I'm glad no one saw besides me. I cried and cried and cried. I took a bath and then a shower to wash my hair, and then I cried again. It came up from somewhere deep inside of me when I saw an image of him meeting someone who I knew at first glance would catch a grenade for him, but more likely would just sit there holding him, providing for him, showing him what love was in eyes and song and hands. It ignited a conscious longing for deep connection, appreciation for the pure love I saw in what I was looking at, fear of never finding it, gratitude that a tiny human could experience that kind of devotion in a world where it's so needed.
It was a lot tonight. I have had several days of internal work and struggle, of letting go and rationalization, and it was a difficult, clearing, healing cry. I never turned the tv on again tonight. I sat here instead and wanted to talk about all of this to my little blank blog box, because it is in the face of the most fearful times in life that I know for sure that the good and deep things I'm seeing is the stuff that matters.
Photo by Schmutzie. Used with permission.
And even when I'm so afraid that feelings like I saw in images tonight won't touch me, personally, again or maybe ever, it was good to know today that they -- and my reaction -- existed. It was good to know I could take it all in, even partially, at a distance, when normally I am so busy talking myself out of needs and feelings and the right -- yes, the right, it appears -- to human connection.When so often I feel on the outside looking in, not really a part of any system or community, but an observer. A child and a sister and a friend, for sure, but on some primal level lacking, no one's mom, no one's partner, no one's provider, no one's end of the day.
These are the voids that frighten me, for whatever reason. These are the spaces of deepest longing for me now.
We function regardless, I know, because I do. I understand my value. I don't feel worthless, I'm not sorry I passed over options that could have led me to that and left me holding the tragically wrong cards, either. I'm just being honest about what hits me in the hardest places. Because I think it is that desire for better, that acknowledgement of where the wounds are inside of us, of what we desire and what keeps us from it, especially, that helps us be better, that helps me be better, anyway. And on days like today even more, I appreciate the people who have shared their stories with me online, even when I didn't like them, even when they have been uncomfortable for me, because it is this kind of access that so often instructs me, that gives me a view I'd never have otherwise. I see a brand new baby in the embrace of a grandmother in an airport and I say yes, this is it. This is one of the things that truly matter.
I hope I am a little bit different tomorrow. I hope I am a little bit better. I hope I can hold on with less denial and shame, with more courage and intention, to what I might want from this life I am not only crafting for myself, but that I am allowing others to participate in, too. Because I'm at a place where I am still so flawed and afraid and road-worn, but also ready, by necessity and desire, to be better at that part.