On the subway yesterday evening, on the way home from meeting a new friend…

In my writing, I choose not to focus primarily on my grief, although I know it influences my perspective on everything. Sure, I have lots of stories I could tell, and anyone who knows me well also knows that I have been through a lot of shit in my life. For instance, as of the death of my grandmother in 2001, as the eldest of three sisters, I became the matriarch of my family… a fact which has me feeling like a child wearing an adult’s shoes. And yet, I am often so joyful. It’s hard to explain.

There’s this transition in one song I’m listening to on my i-pod, when the percussion kicks in with a really nice syncopation, and the keyboard starts in with its riffing, and when I hear it I just feel about as happy as a balloon about to burst.

I notice these two cute young people standing close together who look to me like lesbians, and a man sitting not far from them. I feel tenderly towards them, yet at the same time, concerned. The couple are touching each other in ways that overtly suggest their intimacy. The man appears to be glaring at them. When they step off the train, I realize that one of them is a young male with a ponytail. Maybe the guy looking at them was just an angry man. I look back at him. Maybe he was just tired, cuz his eyes are closed now, and he’s nodding off.

What the hell do I know? Really, anything could be anything – we sort of have no idea. There is so little we really know for sure. And yet, so many people are willing to argue to the death about things they disagree about. There are far too many arguments in world that will never be resolved. Far too many for my taste.

One thing I know is that my truth resonates for me in ways that are unmistakable. I feel some things deeply, but they are private and personal. I may choose to share some aspects of my truth through stories, a conversation with this person or that. I may look for support or reassurance, and agreement is always nice, but if I don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world.

A beautiful child is wheeled into the train in a stroller. She can’t be more than a year and a half old. Her mother is busy reading a bible. The little girl has the most wide open dark brown eyes I’ve seen in a while. I keep looking around to see if anyone notices her. No one else is looking at her but me. She is calmly regarding her surroundings with all of her spirit. Not needing anything, just being there, looking around, and watching. She is a miracle of purity and serenity – receptive to all the joys and pain the world has in store for her.

Life, this ever shifting kaleidoscope of good and bad, difficult and easy, sweeps us along, and we can either ride the wave of our days, or rigidly try to force things to be how we want them to be. I have my beliefs, my passions, and my ideas. While my feelings seem quite urgent to me, I am learning to work with them in a way that doesn’t require me to force any external changes in order to validate them. So you can relax. I will not try to convince you of anything.

Dedicated to @jjunebrown


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