I am not of a wounding spirit
rather I have a gentle heart – Sappho
It’s a thought that crosses me sometimes. It surfaces after I have been walking around, dressed to impress, making small talk, doing my homework, looking out for number one. It hits me when I’m trying to live my life as best I can.
It’s all superfluous to this fact: I can’t stand the negative impact my life has on the planet. I can’t stand the factory farms behind my food, the pollution caused by the lights in my room, the war for the fuel for the bus I take. I want my net worth to this planet to be one that leaves it a better place. It’s a useless desire, but it drives me to make little symbolic efforts that I hope will somehow resonate in a meaningful way: I eat vegan, I recycle plastic, I ride my bike. I know it’s not making a difference, and that pains me too.
And it’s not just the earth. I’m guarded, jaded, a girl encased in a shell. So is everyone else. There comes a moment after too many long minutes of meaningless small talk that I just want to say, “TALK TO ME. TELL ME YOUR DEEPEST SECRETS. I WILL NOT JUDGE YOU, AND I WILL GIVE YOU MIND.” I don’t care who it is, I want to talk to people. I want to kiss people on the cheek. I want to give people hugs. I don’t like these carefully pruned images we make of ourselves. I want to be messy, close, familiar with each other.
I’ve learned to be tough, but I just want to be vulnerable with other people. It’s the ones with the thickest shells who most need to reach out, to hold another warm hand.