“This has my signature all over it.” Tear-swelled eyes lower toward creamy swirls in your now-room-temperature latte, and for a moment you look as if gravity might betray you.
I rest my hand on the table, palm-up, an invitation, and notice how quickly it disappears into the weave of your fingers, hands laced together into a mesh of unsettled fear, aching with guilt.
You tell me how her struggles tear at your mother’s heart, this adult child wearing the shadow-eyed mask of addiction, and how painful the recognition of each line in her face, each rationalization in her argument. “I know this darkness,” you say, eyes shifting as you remember things you’d rather forget.
“This has my signature all over it.”
Our sweaty hands are clasped tight. I don’t pull back. My own eyes shift — was that a memory?
Chewing my lower lip, I search for the right words — words that could heal or soothe or enfold — and come up short.
I see you with eyes shaped by tides and waves, hills and trenches. When your joy explodes into the ether, and when the implosion of sorrow damn near pulls my heart out of my chest and straight into yours, I see you.
I notice you.
The way you reach for words when answers born from old fears rise up against a tentatively opening heart, or when you spin the rings on your fingers as you pretend the surge of decision isn’t rolling heavily across your face and shoulders. You carry all that is life so well, with such grace; do you even know?
Do you realize how beautiful you are when you meet fear with tender strength, or uncertainty with the next step, no matter how tentative? Do you know how you inspire me? Even while fumbling, you’re exquisite. When bliss bursts through your every pore, you are breathtaking…