A Piece of Trust
I’m letting myself be tenderized
by the “yes” and “no” of loving.
The course salts sting my heart upon contact, burning.
And yet, softening me to open for what may come
next and next and next.
I know the hardness of that outer shell protects me,
built layer upon layer from past experience.
Thank you, strong armor,
you’ve made me feel so safe.
Now, here I am.
Ready to try again,
to jump back in the game.
And yet, there’s this soft, sweet vulnerability
that comes with letting loose
those tight binds holding it all in.
I’m letting myself be tenderized,
trusting that fine specimen I may become.
I feel the gentle, firm pounding
as each moment changes,
shifts, the shape of me.
I hold my breath and cringe at each blow,
each time the mallet may strike my heart.
And yet, I open my arms in welcome,
That each remolding of my insides
puts the puzzle pieces together,
forming always a newer, fuller
picture of me.
I’m letting myself be tenderized.
Is there an end to this roller-coaster
process of growing up,
becoming, being, searching inward?
When am I tender enough to love,
to be at peace? To be?
Maybe, the ending never comes.
But I hope, someday,
to be well-seasoned, perfectly cooked,
and ready to taste the sweetness that love has to offer.
For now, exhale.
Allowing all that is life
to shape, shift,
this being I know as myself.
Photograph by Ermin Celikovic