Her words fall softly on my ears, like water lapping at the shore. I’ve heard her before. Different, but very much the same.
Her decisions to parent the way she wanted to didn’t work for the baby. Or they didn’t work for her. They didn’t work. She’s got some thing she made up, her parenting. It’s not in any of the books. Baby seems ok, but maybe it’s not good enough. And she messes up. Or feels like she does. She’s tired.
Her makeup… Her skirt… Her body… People judge her. She stands an inch taller, to push up against the heaviness of that. Or smaller, to duck beneath it. Those looks of confusion. Admiration. Disgust. There’s fire behind it all. They’re trying to dim it. Something changes around their eyes and their mouths. Disapproval. Jealousy.
Her ideas. Her voice. Her opinions. Her politics. Her cooking. Her housekeeping. Her hair. The way she moves.
Hers. Not yours; not ours.
Her words fall like water, as she reclaims the space that is hers. She tiptoes into the community and we collide off one another.
There’s plenty of bravery, to face the twists and turns in the truth; the collective confusion. Bravery to listen. To speak. To repair the holes punched, on occasion, by our looks, our words.
To breathe together.
To manage conflict without wounding one another.
To redefine space. To correct our misperceptions. To touch the pool of discord we’ve gathered around.
To untangle all of that, face the truth, and refuse to look away.
Her words, soft like water. Roaring like wind. Damp, rich, dripping chunks of earth. Fiery, sparks illuminating the night.