talk to kids like they’re people and take full interest in what they’re saying because they’re forming their personalities and it’s really vital that they know that their opinions are important and what they have to say deserves validation and respect. so when your three year old niece tells you that dragons don’t like cupcakes because the color blue is a spoon you better nod your head and ask her to explain more about that.
These things float around in my head
Like a boat that cuts its motor
In the middle of a lake,
Where under a full moon and no wind
The singing of the crickets far away
Goes up and up like a curtain of beads.
Doesn’t it make you shiver?
There’s a fearlessness I envy
In the simple soft wavering dark.
it’s difficult to allow yourself happiness, or to think that you deserve joy when you’ve been used to heavy-heartedness for so long. but maybe it’s time to dismantle this notion that sadness and breakage is the only thing necessary to prove your humanity to the world. there are few moments of bliss in our lives, and we gotta grab onto it, hold those moments — however brief or prolonged they may be — to our little hearts. sure, it’s easier to sympathize with sadness, with someone’s misfortune, but happiness can be shared, too. laughter a healthy contagion, no? for so much of my twenty years i focused on my sadness because i didn’t know any other words for feeling your body so deeply. thought that i couldn’t have every color, thought that it was selfish of me to want to sing out and dance and smile at strangers when people i loved were hurting, or when there was still so much suffering and injustice in the world. but it’s courageous to laugh. courageous to be giddy and full of joy. an act of revolution, even, to say no to the world telling you to move through it in fear, to pull the shadows around you like a comfort. each human narrative comes from the same pool of longing and reaches out into immeasurable deltas. we are colored with so much more than what we allow ourselves to see. we want so much more of ourselves and this life, which is not a bad thing. we crave the depth of sadness but don’t acknowledge the depth of every other feeling because it feels dangerous, because on a day-to-day basis none of us are brave enough to feel everything. all of this, all of this humanness. all of this longing. we have responsibilities! it’s overwhelming. it’s fucking madness. but it keeps us moving, keeps us going towards more so than forwards, which i think is important (no matter what that towards is - a noun or a verb, a sentence, something wordless.) allow yourself the terror of feeling bliss and of feeling devastated, in equal measures. let yourself be shaken by how incredibly powerful it is that you exist. the other night, sitting by the water looking out between the manhattan & brooklyn bridge, i began to cry for no reason other than how i feel so sad and so happy all the time, in all the vagueness of this english language. cried and laughed at how i feel everything rise like heat from my skin. how i am so afraid all the time and how i keep doing whatever i’m doing anyways, because i have to, because i am a coward with sensitive hands that are too full of meaning and intent, because i too often corner my own heart like a wounded animal and try to bleed it dry so that i don’t have to acknowledge its longing, so that i can talk to customers and go to class and walk the streets and plan events and do work and do everything and only take a brief moment to sit on the floor of the stock room and breathe in and breathe out because god how does one manage, how do we do it? but every once in a while, (and you’ve caught me at the tail end of a rupture), it all catches up. all the longing. all the primary colors. all the shades in between. and it terrifies me, thrills me, my humanness. my joy. my wanting. the depth of it all. and i wiped my nose on the back of my hands and got up, watched the water lap up against the metal fence, and sang myself home, loud on the empty streets, sang myself back into my body, my fingers numb from the new air in this september. sang myself straight back into the eddying, into the acceptance of my humanness. the allowance of my being. i have never felt more beautiful than i have in the past few months. have never felt more alive than when i crave endlessly the world around me. there’s nothing here that isn’t full of meaning, full of wonder. nothing created from our hands that wasn’t pulled from sadness and longing, but hope, too. little babies, there is nothing here without hope.