My Tribe

figures, 2000-03, ceramic

figures, 2000-03, ceramic

I love my friends.

They tolerate me when I cancel plans.

They somehow always play to my strengths so I can remember they are there when I forget.

They are my mirrors in the dark.

They help me see past the messy house and too often worn clothes and forgotten story I told them yesterday that I am now telling them again.

They look beyond the un-pedicured toes and un-plucked brows and ugly shoes and dog hair covered coat.

They hear my tears when they haven’t even risen yet.

They eat cake with me and we call it ‘the sacrament.’

I know God knows what we mean and doesn’t mind a bit. Encourages it, in fact.

They shop for me so I can heal.

They travel to far away places with me in search of  doctors with good sense and the magic remedy that might urge me toward physical wholeness.

They look at me with their steady chihuahua eyes and in an instant I remember what matters.

They read my blog and tell me they like it and that it means something to them and I’m not just singing to the choir.

They keep me safe when I get off a horse and my legs crumple and then..

Then they hold me when I cry from frustration and then..

They laugh with me at the absurd theater of it all!

They make amazing meals and invite me to sit at their table.

They smile a genuine smile when they see me on the street.

They take Olivia for walks and love her well.

They have lunch with me after I see a new neurologist.

They drive me places and pick me up and pull right up to the door to let me off.

Even in the rain.

They respond when I have the courage to ask.

They help my heart open by slowly letting me see that helping me PLEASES THEM.

They help me whittle off the exhausted and hyper-vigilant me who knew herself only through serving others in the most unholiest of ways…to GET THEIR LOVE in return. Ugggggggg. It feels so PATHETIC to reveal that!!!!!!!!!!

But I know I’m not alone and someone’s gotta say it.

My friends are my anchor as this boat drifts and rolls with the swells.

I’ve got my pole hanging over the edge and catch great and unusual fish which I look at; I study them and familiarize myself with their newness and beauty and ugliness too.

I sit down to a meal, alone and rolling there on the sea and give thanks for each and every speckled fin and scale as I have the Thanksgiving meal of a lifetime.

And then I give thanks for it all… the whole darn table filled with exotic and frightening and sumptuousness spread out there for me..

But most of all- I give thanks for the ones holding the rope..

The ones who won’t let me drift too far but allow enough slack so I feel free to try on different emotions, different actions, different prayers to see what fits this newly authentic me.

They stand by me when I can’t.

And because of these gifts, I am here and feeling impossibly alive…


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