Soft Places


This has been one of those summers where so many things I thought could never possibly come together have come together. Where there have been swift reversals of fortune, sudden happy endings, beautiful new beginnings. Our falling apart house even got brand new siding. I think I saw a unicorn. At one point I found myself saying things are just so good I just don't know what to do. 

That's where I went wrong. I will never say something so dumb out loud again. Ever.

Yesterday I received news from a friend that reached in and grabbed me by the gut and twisted, hard. And then I received terrifying news from another friend. And then another. I did everything I knew to do when there's nothing else that can be done. I meditated. I prayed. I bought pie. I texted a trusted friend to share what was going on.

"Oh honey, that's a lot," she said. "I will bring over the heroin."

"I knew I could count on you," I said. "Please don't forget the crack and the hookers."

"Goes without saying," she said. And that's a damn good friend. It's too bad I'm in recovery and can't even do a little bit of heroin or crack or hookers.  

I've *almost* learned how to shield myself from the from the political/national/global outrages and mind numbing disasters, how to duck and turn so the blows don't hit quite so hard. So I have time to process them.... at arm's length, at a comfortable remove from my heart. 

Not so, however, with people I love. Those blows hit hard and fast. They hit soft places no armor can cover. I have no tidy bow or package or solution or remedy for any of this. The only thing I know to do is to keep sharing soft places in my writing and with my friends, so they don't become hard and impenetrable, so it doesn't become impossible to feel anything at all. 


Valley Haggard2 Comments