It started much like accidental seeds strewn by a wayward breeze, popping up hesitantly unsure of their own existence. The idea to blog came from seeds that perhaps had no intention of planting themselves, but did so anyway. Over the past several months, I've been moved by the willingness of others to share their own intimate perspectives of the human experience, via other blogs, memoirs, stories, or genuine conversation ,and I too wanted to share in this expression of simply living life, and doing so together.
A few of my aunts have been catalysts to the words that will show up much like it is they who send hula hoops spinning or get us to spend time pouring over poetry every day in April. Any complaints may be addressed to them. This summer, sitting in a beach chair with my toes making trails in the sand, I listened to Mary recount stories of growing up with my dad, aunts, and uncles. Nothing was left out, the triumphs, the sorrows, and those odd things that really don't need to be shared. I sat in revelry, enjoying the fact that I was a part of family that had so much to share. It was real. I wanted that. Mary and I talked about the idea of writing and sharing it with other people. Maybe Grandma would like it? Julie let me flip through one of her magazines that just so happened to be themed "Sharing our Stories". There it was, the wayward breeze.
I'm thinking I'll write not because I am doing anything rather spectacular with my life, or have infinite wisdom to share, but because I want you to know how much you all mean to me. I can't see each of you everyday or pick up a phone whenever I think of you, but I can leave a door open and the porch light on. While in Jamaica, a couple of years ago I lived this true sense welcome and kinship. Doors were left open, lights on until late hours of the night, big speakers blasting Michael Jackson while who knows whose kids sat in my lap braiding my hair after I braided theirs chanting, "Why, Why, Why?" "Tell them that it's human nature." It's human nature to sing together and have hands grimy from Patties slide through your hair. We're meant to do life together however strange, joyful, or tough it may be.
I'm so grateful for those who do life with me who have taught and continue to teach me that it is okay to share. This is for you. Those who'll sit in my bedroom with the candles burning and talk about boys and everything under the sun. My student who opens my arms at 7:30 in the morning to wrap a hug around her to make the inside hurt of a puffy lip bestowed by an older brother go away. A boss who calls me into her office to talk about preparations for a meeting and ends up discussing her journey as a mother; helping me to question what I really want out of life. A struggling reader from a broken family who writes a card to tell me that the time when we read one on one at the back table is the best part of her day. Ladies who share wine on the porch on a Friday night and have that say anything kind of conversation. Dave, the Vietnam Veteran, handing out the Express at the Metro, each morning setting my day right telling me I have a beautiful smile. Two men south of the border in a home living with HIV and AIDS who help me forget all that separates us, but rather remind me of how bound we are in the present moment. An immigrant father who'll stand outside my door to chat about his daughter's performance in class and his dreams of her receiving a scholarship to attend a university, even after a long day driving taxis and a night shift stocking shelves. A grandmother on the train who gifted me her story of overcoming abuse and how she found God on the streets. And those who've seen me cry, watched the weirdness that often ensues, and made me laugh with my head thrown back.
I love the way you make me feel.