Telling stories matters.
Giving voice to truth counts. Refusing to allow others to frame fears and pain as private matters only, as faintly shameful, is important to me. I believe that my friends who have told me that to share how one lives and copes is to help other women, are right. And yet, I hesitate to speak freely out of respect for others and out of respect for my own need to withdraw and retreat.
I want to talk though. I want to say: here is what is cobbling my parts together, pushing me from one moment into the next, softening the tightness in my chest so that my heart may beat I am, tempting me to smile, allowing me to cry, seeing me through.
I don’t want to forget.
The first is Bean. Like her mama, she knows that creating is expressing is processing is coping. After a trying day, she will say, I need to do artwork. In her drawings and paintings she inhabits a world filled with so much love and joy that I can’t help but feel soothed too.
The second is kindness.
I had thought to write ‘communications and connections’: phone calls, emails, Twitter. I had thought to pay tribute to the ways in which being simply allowed to talk have smoothed over the roughest of hours. But it is not that, really, at the core of it. What is a friendship but a promise of kindness? In the end, only kindness matters.
I am heavy (not weighed down but plumped up) with gratitude for the many kindnesses that have been extended to me — and to Bean. Loaded with provisions for the next leg.
I am grateful too for meaningful and rewarding work. For purposeful days. For the stoicism my father bequeathed to me.
So, probably, are you. Thank you.