“And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.”
― Kurt Vonnegut,
Tired and with nerves frayed as an old shoelace, I stood rinsing out the mason jars of paint. My gaze laid lightly against the swirling colored suds.
Light… like the placing of a hand on a lover’s arm revealed by the break of morning. Afraid of waking them, because in sleep it all works out. Sometimes, you think that maybe that’s how you ruined things before. That quick rush of breath they took being shocked to waking…some realization came from that gasp. “Perhaps, if I avoid the gasp and keep my distance they will roll over with that soft, comfortable stretch into day.” Their eyes calmly lay upon you expecting that you must be a part of such peace. You – an irreplaceable segment of this good feeling. A gasp, however…means you can cause fear, doubt, or upset. It means one day you will let each other down. It means the chip that will become a cavern of distrust or detachment.
So. I lay silently as my abdomen cramps from sustaining these long, quiet breaths. My hand slowly makes contact with your soft skin, so as to add only the weight of an additional bed sheet. In my mind I chant “it’s only chemicals” again and again because I am close to a gasp of my own. “What if this one stayed.”
Today, a child came to me. He fell into arms, laid his head against mine, and held me with all of his heartache and confusion. I held him ready to absorb his hurt, give him space to feel, and work with him to find a solution. I wondered how many times I wished I had someone to fall into and remembered why I work with such fierce determination. I know how important it is to be heard, held, and cared for.
I gaze into the swirl of colors, lightly letting my eyes and anxiety rest on the soft, swirling suds. “So it goes.”