internal inquiry into a considered response There’s no other way to heal, I think. I’ve read this many times. It is lodged in my blood now, where it often sings me awake at night, sometimes until dawn. It is in my belly too, still mostly undigestible. The difficulty lies in the difference between what my heart reads and what my head understands. Or maybe that’s where the difficulty lies. I’m not sure yet. We learn battle-readiness, to defend our tender new-budded truths. We are misinterpreted; this can break our hearts. We misconstrue, often to preserve the rightness of blame, the righteousness of feeling hard done by; this will initially comfort and inevitably constrict. In the end the effect is the same: diminishment and poverty. I can’t name all of the possible alternative choices, but they are known by their effect: gratitude, openness, expansion. Love. Oh, the bluster and the poverty of me! As though what sparks my interest should dominate all else, till there’s no breath left in the room, and the small simple beautiful thoughts creep away to hide their perfect nakedness. Lest they get burned by the mocking loud, the snorting judgement, the braying, betraying complaining whine. I don’t regret this bluster- it has been an important tool for survival these many years. I do amend it now that I’m out of survival mode: more heed paid to the exquisitely naked, small simple thoughts. The tiny observances, the two-way conversations held safely in trust. All the time in the world to listen well, with love. It is one of those nights – my blood sings me awake at 3am and now dawn sits pregnant in the east. Sheets and sheets of luxurious rain cool street and soil after weeks of heat too strong for the season. I am grateful for the known comfort of this natural balance, counterpoint to my tender-sore conundrum. What to do? I ask the morning, as she emerges. In response, the rich rain sings of gravity, release, surrender. Family. We are family. I have no good answer to this difficulty, for how can I be who I am not, even if who I am offends so? So. Let the rain and the tears fall where they may, in gravity, release, and peaceful surrender. May the good answers come over time like waves on the shore, with no urgency. Small and simple, held safely in trust.