If I were to tell you my story, I feel words would not suffice.
I could tell it to you in color:
Lime green leggings and matching scrunchie of my 90s childhood days
Piercingly clear turquoise waters where I placed a fuchsia lei in memory of my mom
Crimson deep of an alma mater insignia that stretched far beyond college to veins where daughter and father bonded, bridging the gap between heaven and earth
I could tell it to you in smells:
Groves of fragrant lavender in the fields of southern France where a teenager took her first breath of a world beyond her front door
Backyard pine and blackberry bushes sweet with the strength of August sunshine
Salt and stench from years of grass-stained soccer shorts and rowing spandex and ski team bandanas that covered the last warm exhale before flying down powder-dusted cliffs
I could tell it to you in taste:
Bowls of Mom’s homemade soups: smoky split pea, Hungarian mushroom, basil-studded tomato bisque
Watery taste of almost something, but not, in a slushy mixture of frozen fruit, ice and protein powder
First bite of Italy: Loredana’s lemony chicken dripping with olive oil. This tasted like being alive.
Chocolate hazelnut gelato tasted like being born again.
I could tell it to you in dance:
Like the time when I did an interpretive one in front of my 7th grade class. Yes, I did a made-up dance in front of a room of preteens. I even had a wardrobe change. I thought it was just about the coolest thing… I still think it was cool
Or the victory dance of skiing down my first black diamond, Dad and I raising the roof as we stared at the moguls we had just left in our dust
Or the internal dance I have been a student of recently; the kind where you must learn to dance in stillness and in movement; the kind where you close your eyes and hold nothing back, dancing for an audience of one, The One, and not caring what others may say or think
I would tell you these things today, but I wouldn’t have always told them to you – not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how.
There was once a time when I only knew how to voice something that sounded like things were picture perfect. It was a time when my brain and innocence-shattered heart were not on speaking terms, so brain took control of mouth, pronouncing constant smile and words of only happiness.
When pressures finally broke the seal of unreality, I began to feel – to feel hard and deep and true.
When I began to feel, to live in a world of sensory rather than should-be image and words, I realized that this, THIS, is living, a living that simply cannot be expressed in human language.
As I began to breathe in with all my senses, I felt the aching ribs and pain-struck heart, but I also felt the tingling tear ducts of Joy. This Joy is unshakable when I let myself feel, feel all of creation made by the lovingkindness of the Creator.
My story is not straight forward. It is not placed between two bookends.
It is fragrant and soiled.
It blueberry tart and peanut brittle salty.
It is the feeling when a butterfly lands on your finger and all you can do is breathe slowly, softly, and whisper, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’
Remember to feel, friends. Remember to feel.