Leaning into the Afternoons

Feel you. Feel me.

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I want to learn your colors, though I know I would never understand them. My eyes don’t see black & white, but neither do they see reds & blues & greens & oranges & violets. Or, rather, they do but they can’t sort each from the others. I live my life awash and so my eyes are always weary from waters…so life explodes in watercolor hues that never dry, but that’s only in my head. I know.

With apologies to Mr. Maclean, my life is haunted by waters. And sometimes they are rivers, sometimes streams, sometimes tides, sometimes rapids, sometimes a deep & drowning dark, sometimes a starved riverbed cracked dry. The waters push and pull me, carry me along, crash me against jagged shallows or stolid and unmoving boulders (worn smooth but dangerous), sustain me, threaten to drown me. Sometimes I move to the bank to breathe as the waters wash over, around my feet, but the waters never stop moving so when I stay so still it feels…I fear I’ll become one of those boulders – worn smooth, unmoving, unharmed, with naught but to wait for eternity when the waters will inevitably wash me away.

I guess this is to say that I know I could take the time to scout the safe places, to remove the dangers before I set myself in the current. I could separate the bad waters from the good…build dams, dikes, levies, canals, filters that would only allow clean waters to rush down my nose, my throat, my ears. In fact, I’ve tried all of those things. Ultimately, working to separate the safe waters from the wild feels too much like staying still…my skin dries out, burns, peels.

I know. I feel. I am very beat up as of late…bruised and likely bleeding. But there are always new waters, always new shores and beds ahead. And, ultimately, all waters run to the sea. I’m too small to know what that really means but it comforts me nonetheless.