Sadness, My Friend:

Sadness, my friend:  you are with me lately, so I attempt to hold onto you.  I need quiet time behind closed doors.  I need to be alone so I can hear the timbre of my own voice echo over you.  At times, not belonging feels familiar.  I sometimes feel the need to seem much happier than this, in order to make other people feel at ease.  But I can’t fend much off– I’m dallying with you, sadness, for the moment.  You are desperate enough for my attention that you are squeezing my heart.

 

sadness-my-friend

Jumping With the Bear

There was a girl who loved a bear.  Every day she met the bear in the forest, and they trampolined together.

The forest was deep and dark– exactly the type of place that threatened and frightened the girl.  But the bear of course, being from the forest, didn’t feel frightened there at all.  He loved the forest, and he liked trampolining with the girl.  Meanwhile, she loved the bear (I mentioned that earlier) and she liked trampolining with him, but was afraid of the forest.

So you see, they each loved a different thing– he loved the forest, which she feared, whereas she loved the bear, who did not return her affection with the same intensity.  But the thing they agreed on was trampolining:  they both liked that equally.  So they met and jumped together every day (as I already mentioned) and put up with the dissimilarities in the other areas.

To what avail did they trampoline together?  Did doing so enable future alliances between humans and bears?  Did their unheard-of habit bring them fame or even momentary popularity?  The answer is no and no, because neither of them told a single soul about their trampolining.

Did their trampolining strengthen their hearts and improve their complexions?  Perhaps.  But that is not why they did it, not completely.

Mostly I think it was because at that precarious moment when they were both suspended in the air at the same time, they were more connected to each other than either of them ever was to anyone else in their regular, disparate lives.

jumping-with-the-bear

Sad About the Sadness

He felt sad about the sadness that other people carried.  He could practically feel it emanating from their houses as he drove by them.  And they were lonely because they couldn’t talk about being sad.

But really, who would want to talk about it?  In fact, he, too, tried to keep his soft, most vulnerable core away from the humanity.  Dating caused disillusionment, because even the most handsome, normal-seeming guys showed sad glimpses if you got too close– missing their dead mother, or not living up to their potential, or… being lonely.  He usually shied away at that point.  If felt like the motion you use when you are swimming backwards, away from something gross suspended near you in the water.  You don’t want to touch it.

he-felt-sad-about-the-sadness

She Woke Up That Morning

she woke up that morningShe woke up that morning with shame

pressing her down to the bed.

So she peeled it off of her

and crumpled it into a small, hard ball,

and she whipped that ball down the length

of her narrow bedroom, where it shattered her window

and disappeared into the morning sky.

Advice for Emotional Safety

Don’t expect much.  Look at the cement sidewalk.  Keep your eyes on that.  When you forget, and your glance catches the big paper moon rising behind the telephone lines at the playground, ignore the sense of wonder stirring under your ribs.  Late November, when the leaves whip around the street, and the shagginess of the branches throughout the neighborhood speaks of some kind of important process that is going on, do not try to name that process.