I’ve been MIA on this blog for a few weeks.
What is it about an airport,
that everyone’s soul shines through?
I see it through the little holes in their socks,
and their bare feet at security.
Who doesn’t think to wear socks on airport day?
I see it through their sweet voices,
explaining to their five-year-old,
why must we go through this security line –
“to check if anyone has snakes or spiders in their bags, dear”
I can see a world in which that is why we must all bare our feet
for TSA to peek through our shoes
and find our secrets.
I can see the soul in the woman whom I’m begging
to switch my middle seat to an aisle seat,
I see her long day, her long future,
I’m tired, but so is she, and I am not the first, nor the last, to beg her for something that is not in her control.
I see the soul in the man who sits beside me,
who talks about the old days
when corporate airlines didn’t charge for hot meals
I smile at him and I reach out to buy some headphones because I’m not doing this middle seat flight solo.
What is it about airports?
They say airports are a no-mans-land, no country can claim it, and perhaps that’s what it is.
None of us are home, yet none of us are lost, we are all in between the beginning and end of a journey.
And we’re in our socks.
For some of us, it’s bare feet.
And we all hope there are no snakes in someone else’s bag.
It’s been loud for weeks.
I’m home now.
My home state, that provides a new backdrop for my writing. A reminder of how many stories were spun in the woods of New Hampshire, how many poets secluded themselves in the mountains, breathing only fresh air, speaking to no one.
Alas, I am far from secluded in the evergreens. As the summer begins, my childhood home is filled with family, and often, chaos reigns. And amidst the noise, and the hustle and bustle, and the lists of what needs to get done, there is a single bird, who lives in the tree right outside our home. He spends hours each day slamming himself into the window. It is mesmerizing to watch as time and time again the bird foolishly throws himself at the window – why? As he bounces back off of it, he looks again at the window, as if this time, the result will be different.
How is it possible that the bird does not learn from his mistakes?
How does the pain of the never bending window against his feathered wings not teach him to stop?
The science of it is simple. The bird sees his own reflection in the window, and regards the reflection as an enemy. As all he holds close and dear to his heart only lives a couple of feet away, this is his attempt to protect from an intruding bird. His dedication to his little nest is so fierce that no pain will stop him – as long as he believes there is danger, he will stop at nothing to be the protector.
If only he could understand the science as simply as we could.
If only he realized that what he perceives as the enemy is truly only himself.
I’m that bird sometimes. Sometimes I get confused about who the enemy is. I see the enemy in the reflection, and I charge, I try to fight it, to protect what is dearest to me, and I end up hurting even more, confused, sometimes even with a broken wing that requires tending to, to heal from.
It is an endless, life-long process to master the balancing act that is putting yourself out there, and protecting your most inner world.
Most of the world you interact with each day won’t have the time, or the patience, or the ability to understand and grasp who you truly are.
There is a reason humans seek companionship, and why we seek that one person that “gets” us. For some of us, there are plenty of people who get us. For some of us, that number is much more miniscule, and that much harder to find.
As a result, some of us turn into that bird, fighting anything that seems like the enemy, because so often, it feels like an enemy. So often, others don’t see who we are, or are dismissive of what we hold dear. So we protect it. We go on defense.
But maybe, like the bird, we have become so caught up in protecting ourselves, we don’t even realize that the enemy has turned into us.
Perhaps I spend so much time assuming that others do not “get me” that I forget to just be me, whether they are listening or not.
Little bird, one day, that window could seriously injure you. Perhaps rather than looking around you, ready to protect your nest from imaginary enemies, stay near your baby birds, and revel in the life that you have.
It’s a good one.
Today is my grandfather’s 4th yartzeit (anniversary of death). It’s obviously unbelievable to truly recognize that, but when he passed, I had just been a year out of high school, unsure yet of where the future would take me. A lot has happened since then. I’ve changed. But, in passing, my grandfather has been a constant, and I still remember him exactly the way he was when he left us. I lived with my grandparents for my final two years of High School, in New York. I lived side by side with my unassuming Zeidy, getting to know him well between quietly shared breakfasts at 7 am, or through conversations in the living room, as he spoke Yiddish and Hebrew fluently, and I stumbled through attempting to use my tiny knowledge of those languages, always resulting in me just speaking in English, much to his chagrin.
1. Keep it simple.
2. Joke around.
3. Talking less, but talking when you should.
4. Doing good things, quietly.
5. Overall, I think about myself way too much.
Next June will be here before I know it, and I’ll be marveling again, and all I pray is that come each June, I have the joy of marveling at how much beauty, how much good, how much growth traveled the days with me.
Some weeks are for looking inward,
A walk down memory lane
can be filled with pot holes
and thorny bushes.
I close my eyes,
trying to avoid the things that hurt me.
when you walk down memory lane,
guided by one of the people
who was there with you,
recognizes the same cracks in the road,
and can remind you of your voice,
and who you used to be,
becomes filled with beauty.
You can remember the flowers,
and the sound of silence,
rather than scary,
and the walk down memory lane,
with those special souls,
shows you the length of how far you’ve walked,
how far you’ve come
and how much you’ve grown.