fragments of connection: a response

philip. i get on my bus after a long day at a job i am grateful for, but don’t love. an older man shuffles aboard and sits next to me, despite plenty of other empty seats. i am slightly annoyed when he starts talking to me, wanting to indulge in self-pity in the form of melancholy songs played in my earbuds, and resent the intrusion. he has a soft, only at times detectable accent, and a sweet voice, and asks about my photography and tells me about his leica, asking if they still make them? i smile and laugh, thawing in the presence of his soft openness and friendly demeanor. he asks nothing of me, has no expectations, and i am suddenly overwhelmed by the godliness in him, and overcome with gratitude for karma sending him to me at just the moment i needed it. he tells me he paints. the thought passes through my head that when i imagined having a moment with god, i didn’t expect they would choose to manifest as a white man. when we arrive at my stop i give him my card and he tells me his name is philip.

dire straits. a lover texts me asking if i like dire straits? i think immediately of late nights in dive bars, watching my ex play dire straits covers in the band he played with when we met in college. i respond yes, i love dire straits, smiling in the sweet softness of those dive bar memories. my lover says he often listens to them in the morning, and that romeo & juliet made him think of me. i play the song on my iphone and feel my eyes fill with tears as i hear the lines ‘juliet when we made love you used to cry / you said i love you like the stars above i’ll love you till i die’ and remember the night i cried while he was making love to me…

baptism. i am dissolving into sobs that feel like a baptism in past traumas and sorrows washing through my body. i wonder what he is thinking, but can’t stop myself. he holds me and asks what i need, stroking my back and head while i release trauma i hadn’t known was there. after i am calm, i kiss him in gratitude for holding space for me, overwhelmed by the intimacy of being held emotionally by a lover.

touch. my little sister is having a crisis. after a night of drinking tea and talking through her options, i give her a head massage before she goes home. i hold her head against my chest, and use both hands to massage her neck and head. i feel instantly nine years old, holding her as a baby and comforting her until she fell asleep against me. i can feel her tangible release, and am struck by the beauty and intimacy of our relationship, and how grateful i am for her. i feel a literal outpouring of my love flowing into her, and i think of the very real healing power of touch. i think sadly that i am not able to have this intimacy with my brothers, because of societal norms, as i consider how little my family touched each other in healing ways. it feels sad how much we have lost touch with this. i want to tell everyone how accessible this intuitive healing is to all of us, to give ourselves and others.