When I was broken, I asked you to do things you couldn’t do.
I asked you to do things no one could do, like keep me whole and take the scary out of life. I instructed you to hold the ground underneath me because if you didn’t, it would drop right away and I would slide directly into the core of the earth.
And, for me, you tried to do all those things.
But even with all that trying, you couldn’t do them because no one can, and so for months—sticky, endless months—I screamed and sobbed and threw things and, oh God, I think there were even times you were afraid I would hit you.
I made you into my receptacle for everything—everything—that I couldn’t take, all the nasty, spiny parts of living.
There were times, sometimes, when I was okay, and then we could be okay together, we could reclaim our positions as soul sisters. But as my patterns solidified and those sometimes grew increasingly rare, the weight of our wishing became too heavy. When I was okay, we wished and hoped so hard that I could stay that way, but for a long time I just couldn’t and that reality crushed and smashed us each time I shifted back, morphing like a werewolf under the glowing moon.
And even though now you beg me to forgive myself, I still think of those days and my insides turn black and inky with shame.
I could have lost you and it could have been the greatest regret, and I did lose you for a little while.
But now I get to thank God, all the time, because you are strong and forgiving and together we are magic. You fought for me and I fought for you and all these years later, I know how to love better because of you.
And I’m beginning to understand that this is what it is to be human. We tiptoe forward and slide back, peek tentatively then rage furiously, make mistakes and then figure out how to make them better.
And all this so that, when we’re strong enough, we can begin to love with all we’ve got.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman