I cannot fathom the sudden sharpness of smiles. Loved ones of all kinds have a hidden sharpness.
My lungs intake air so sweet, exhaled from their breath, only to feel razors inside my airways, leaving me confused and terrified.
Moments ago we were laughing – I was feeling warm in the presence of all of you, my people that are part of the oneness of my world, those who’ve shared their own gravity with me, pulled into each others orbit by seemingly impossible odds.
The universe is massive, but here you are, smiling so bright it kills me. Why does it kill? Why does the pain of love, even a gentle touch, feel as though chains are wrapping around my throat? Why does the depth of my love bring such a twisting dread, leaving me to wonder if I’m a creature meant to care for anyone or anything at all.
Or is it the curse of someone who feels love and fear so deeply? In one moment, my heart can be spilling over, drinking in the liquid poetry that is the presence of my friends and family, while the next ignites my insides in white heat, telling me to run with everything I have before I’m set ablaze.
The cold is more predictable.
The calmness of solitude makes the cold comforting – do not fear my love of the cold – it balances me, centers the heat, soothes the ignitions, melting down into waves that wash away blood and coaxes me through the chaotic questions of:
“Why are you so scared? Why are you so sensitive? Why does joy shake you? Why does panic shake you? Why do others who would do anything for you make you want nothing at all?“
When I settle from the warmth of all of you, and my mind and body ease into the calm waves I’ve made, I am met with melancholy and a sense of resolve. I feel the depth of love I do because I know the depths of fear. I know the depths of pain. Life has made profound paths, incisions, on my brain; fashioning me with layers of hardened experience and wisdom at the price of feeling so great it can shatter one with a weak will.
But my will is not weak – it has weathered many disasters and has fashioned a soul so strong, it seeks nothing but to understand both the depths of love and fear; because life is both and all, and my relationship to each is intimate; terrifying and magnetic in its ability to teach me what it means to be both myself and a human being finding her way in the world.
Thank you for your warmth, those who love me, as you continue to teach me that the winter waves of my solitude would not be so comforting without the summer heat of your smiles, ones that aren’t as sharp as my mind likes to think, ones that ensure me humanity would be nothing without the experiences of others who may feel, fear, and love just as deeply as I.