The Tenderness

Isn’t this absolutely it? Made better still by the promise of what’s to come for them. This is by artist Nana Bruce, whose work I return to regularly.

These last two weeks have taught me quite a bit, but most of all, they have taught me that I will never again place myself in spaces which do not fill my heart completely and totally. My entire family could die in a second – both sides. And what a disservice it would be for me to do anything but live as fully as I am able? And with people – romantic and platonic – who are nothing less than absolutely extraordinary. (With the caveat that was is extraordinary to me, is routine to you. And vice versa.) Our lives are too precious for anything less. It is a gift to be here, and though I have never been one to ignore this, what is happening to my family has made this clearer still.

I mentioned earlier that I have been out of body. But that’s in fact not it at all. I am entirely in body in a way I’ve not experienced before. Every part of this body’s ecosystem has come to life.

It’s incredible. And insane. And wild. And surprising. And euphoric. And when I think of it, my body responds and my heart drops and I catch my breath because I didn’t know that this is what it looks like.

And I am not even fully experiencing this because I have to contain myself. Out of care and respect for an individual I adore. Out of respect for myself, I have to contain everything. Lock it down, unless and until I am permitted to give into it. I can’t even imagine what that might look like, only that the thought alone takes my breath away, and my body blush.

I recently reread the incense(d) heart. I thought I was writing about it then, but I was not. I was writing about toxicity and pain; I was writing the opposite of the lightness and tenderness and hilarity which Allah has brought into my life out of literally nowhere.

It has come so easily. More fascinating because I have in fact been actively avoiding this entire dimension 100% completely since nearly three years now.

You know what’s happening to me? Colours are brighter. I feel stronger. I laugh louder. I am not scared. I am coming together. I am seen. I am seen. I am seen. Inside of a space from which I cannot take my eyes. I am trading secrets without saying a word. I can articulate all of my secrets without fear of judgement; there is a space next to me full of only safety and understanding for the secrets of another.

I want to play hide and go seek, and hookie. I want to run around neighbourhoods at night, look into windows and make up stories about them. I want to jump into a car and drive for hours without direction but that provided by my heart. I want to gossip, but not harm. I want to play so much that I lose sleep for all days.

In the last while, I have laughed so hard, my stomach hurt and I stopped breathing. Repeatedly, seamlessly, without effort. I never want this to end.

I have ceded all control. I want to be foolish and I want to deep-dive into the lushness of being alive. For the first time in 49 years, I am not scared. I am not acting from a place of fear; I am pushed only by softness, acting without thought and completely from gut. I am in a space that is healing. And protective. Strong. Sexy as sh!t. And Jesus Christ what a gift this all is.

Last week, I pulled out an envelope and I began writing secrets on slips of paper, dated. Things I do not wish to forget. Things I would only whisper or text if I were permitted. I may be allowed to hand this envelope of secrets over one day. Maybe not. This too, it is not my decision. I can only sit quietly and care quietly and breathe carefully and deeply until otherwise.

Have you figured it out yet? What is happening?

It is that: I am exhaling.

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