Time froze. It was as if my soul knew it was intertwined with his somehow, the calm that washed over me…I could feel the magnetic pull that surged like an undercurrent in all of my being. All of the unspoken words felt settled. The hopes of what was to come and what was to be danced like waves, beckoning me in. Parts of me came alive again. Pieces shook that had been too long hidden, too long suppressed, too long ignored.
He held a piercing fierceness that saw my depths, yet provided a reassuring softness where I could land…offering in the midst of chaos the tender promise of secret keeper and space holder; two a.m. conversation maker and belly laugh initiator; an exhale and unbreakable shoulders to lean into; an inviting warmth I’d never been lucky enough to embrace. Even in brief exchanges it never felt finished. I wanted to drink it all in. My heart would skip a beat in the small pockets and hints of hope. In his smile I could feel the collapse of being fully seen and unafraid, speaking without hesitation…as if he would not only see those sacred spaces but want to bridge the gaps between. Point for point and destined. The fulfilling adventure of a life out loud…
But there was one problem.
His hand was not mine to hold.
Instead I am met with resistance. A stalemate. Cold. Holding my breath. A palpable tension that soaks to my bones and stiffens my muscles into a lockdown that steals my sleep. Fists clenched and ready for a hit. Shoulders continually creeping into my ears, ready to lash out at a moment’s notice. Choking on resentment.
Things that have laid dormant in my body for years awoken and gripping me into a tailspin.
I turn into a tank with reactive armor. I peer into clouded eyes that keep me questioning. Both of our chests cracked wide open, trying to breathe.
Who are you?
Who am I?
More walls. It is by far easier to shut down. Settle into logistical roles. Keep on mission. We don’t know how to breathe life giving words. What shared memories? What adventure? I lay my heart on the line time and time again only to have it tear and tangle.
I’m hurting. Begging to have release. Pull me in and hold me. The bittersweet is drowning me and the stronghold that very well may never have been there is slipping. Am I falling on deaf ears? Have we forgotten? Do you see me? I know the wheels are spinning. They always are, even when you do not bring it to the surface…I see just past the hollow and rejected. I wrestle with the why. The how. Life cannot always be this heavy…this…defined.
But the request for you is just as defeating. There is no strength to muster and what was once a roaring fire behind your eyes has extinguished to a mere flicker now and again. I am certain mine lack the light once seen. The rigidity of it all will break us.
But we’ve been broken before. We’ve endured the most devastating losses. Seen the most hopeless defeat. Perhaps it is not all black and white…perhaps we have forgotten. Perhaps the sting of the words and the weight of the walls we have so carefully crafted may not stand forever. Perhaps this is a new dance to learn. Shattering and heartbreaking. Gut wrenching and risky. Maybe we will fall.
Or maybe we will break a mold. And remain, undefined.