your most frail gesture*
“A truth should exist,
it should not be used
like this. If I love you,
is that a fact or a weapon?”
― Margaret Atwood
That quote has always been a favorite of mine. It is a reminder, to me, that love simply is – it’s not a machete. It isn’t a thing to be wielded. It’s a feeling, a state of being, a truth. It does not have sharp edges. It should never be used maliciously or manipulatively. If someone does that, then what he/she is feeling? It’s not love. Because while we all sometimes hurt the people who love us and who we love, love is not a destructive force. Quite the opposite, actually.
There is absolutely nothing weak about love. It can appear weak, because it so often yields to accommodate. But weak? No. Definitely not. To bastardize another favorite quote (by Paulo Coelho), the strongest love is the one that demonstrates its fragility. And, to be sure, people are like that, too. The strongest people know how to bend, how to put others first, how to compromise and not act selfishly. Love is not selfish, even in instances where it would be easy and perhaps even just to be terribly self-centered.
When someone you care about asks you for something, you give it. That’s strength. That’s not a small thing. It’s a choice. And choosing to put another person first is like shaping steel: it is not to be done lightly. Or without fire. Or something.
Point is: I’m an affectionate idiot. I don’t know how to not care or un-care about people. Sometimes, I care too much. But I figure in this world full of assholes, no matter what, I’ve never going to be like that. I’m never going to hide my heart, even when it’s hard.
Hello, my name is Alison, and I give a damn.
Get over it.
This is me, for better or for worse. I feel things. I express thoughts. I dance in the grocery store, and I sing in the shower. I kiss and laugh, bake and do shots of tequila. I can say “I love you” in three different languages, but I’ve only ever said it once. I am kind. I am sweet. But if you hurt someone I care about, the dragon comes out. I am tiny, but fierce. Trust me when I say you don’t want to witness that. I love high heels and hate wearing flat shoes. I believe in impossible things, because nothing is truly impossible. I love unconditionally and without any shame whatsoever. I do not suffer fools. I will not let you disparage yourself in front of me. I never give false praise. Once I put my faith in people, it’s incredibly hard to lose it. I believe in more than one chance, more than two. I think we all fuck up, and sometimes, a good hug can ease the pain. I know how to throw a punch, figuratively and literally. I always fight clean. I don’t like the word no. I think we hear it far too often. I rarely lie, but I can fool you with a smile if I feel like it. I hate goodbyes. I cry when dogs die in movies. I still can’t watch Old Yeller, since the one time I saw it as a kid. If you don’t like animals or sarcasm, we can’t be friends. I will laugh my ass off whenever someone falls down, doesn’t matter if it’s me. I think that kindness is the easiest thing in the world, because the small gestures make a difference. I say hello to strangers. I always hold open the door. I don’t know how to quit, even when everything seems impossible. And yeah, when you’re sick and within driving distance, I’ll make you soup. Same goes for when you’re having a bad day: there will be chocolate or baked goods.
Life is hard. If I do one thing in this life and only one, I hope it’s that I make it easier for someone daily. I hope that I make a difference in the darkness. I hope that I make you laugh, when you’re having a shitty day. I hope I listen, when you’ve got no one else to talk to.
Because I care. And that, darlings and dear hearts, is never weakness.
*title shamelessly taken from my favorite e.e. cummings’ poem: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/somewhere-i-have-never-travelledgladly-beyond