There’s poetry in not getting what you want. Tugging hard at the flower that doesn’t break easily from the bush. It’s not yours.
So when my last two texts to the cowboy went unanswered, I realized, shoot, a door was being closed on me hard and I wasn’t ready. I’m hurt, but for him too, and all times I shut down shop on someone because I was afraid.
The astrologer told me to keep the beautiful wall-sized mirror he made and gave me for my birthday.
“But it makes me sad to look in it,” I said.
“That’s his pain honey, not yours,” she said.
Like a lot of women, I am particularly skilled when it comes to men; how they feel, what they need and what they struggle with. But I had my own pain here; a man turned away from me, and it was very hard to hold. I took it personally. Not just ego, but a firm nod to my own unworthiness. Old pain. Cowboy triggered it.
And there’s poetry in that too.
Poetry for the teenage daughters who witnessed the month-long love fest, who examined the new dress for the date, who giggled when they caught us kissing, who gave a thumbs up for sleepovers, who opened their arms wide, saying “Oh Mama,” when I wept.
Someone told me that it’s fine for your kids to see you fall, but they need to see you get back up. I’ve always been a buck up kind of gal, but with a lot of cowgirl, get-outta-my-way swagger. This time is different. I am sad for me, but more sad that it’s hard for men and women to come together with their eyes open and to rest.
For days I wrote the note in my head that I’d send him. Made plans to have a girlfriend drop the mirror and the note off at his office. But now I’m wondering if maybe I can put that mirror up. It’s absolutely stunning; a work of art as worthy as the man himself.
As much I wanted to see my own worthiness in the eyes of that cowboy, I think what I need to do is to turn to that mirror and seek my own reflection, hold my own gaze.
That was his gift to me. The mirror was only a beginning.
I may never see that cowboy again, but I will think of him in the beautiful home he’s building for himself. And then in the fall when both of our kids start at the same university, I’ll remember him. It’s a big campus – but it’s ultimately fate that has you cross paths with just anyone. And there’s poetry in that too.
Oh Laurie this is absolutely beautiful to read. Your words went straight to my heart and your expression … well for me there are no words. You are loved by many, you have taught so many of us how to write and express our own selves . . . you have done it so eloquently here today. You inspire me to be a better writer, over and over again . . . even through the miles from the west coast all the way over to the east coast!
What a beautiful note Donna, thank you so much. We all just do the best we can, don’t we? But we’re in it together – different details – same soup. We need each other – thank God.
Love and so much appreciation for reading.
So beautiful. And it’s so comforting to see the wisdom that comes after the mess. xo
you nailed it, Laurie Wagner. When Maya moved in we put a mirror in the kitchen. I’ve never had a mirror anywhere but the bathroom, where I looked as quickly as possible BEFORE I put my glasses on. But now I stop and look more often, hold my own gaze. I like the smile on my face. The mirror is only the beginning. And yes, there’s poetry in that, too. xo
Sometimes hurt is like compost – the catalyst for beautiful growth and wisdom.
You’ve inspired me. I’ve had my own hearbreak lately – different, but nonetheless heartbreak.
I’m looking forward to beginning the workshop in june.
oh baby. This is one of the most beautiful things you’ve written. Yes, keep that beautiful mirror, clearly made with love by someone who saw you and wanted you to see yourself through those tender eyes. Yes, the gift is to make those eyes your own. Yes, what a gift you give your girls to let them watch you feel, to show them how navigating the pain is done when it’s done right. Pure, pure poetry. Much love to you. Big squeeze, Lara
So wonderful to go through something – to write about it, share it – and then get comments. It makes me feel so much less alone in the world. Thank you all so much for these notes. xxx
you are a brave beautiful woman who I admire and love so deeply!
You wrote, “As much I wanted to see my own worthiness in the eyes of that cowboy, I think what I need to do is to turn to that mirror and seek my own reflection, hold my own gaze.”
This is the gift of story for all of us, isn’t it? Can anyone read this and not see themselves in that same mirror?
Thank you so much not just for your courage in sharing this story, but also for looking more deeply into the mirror beyond the story itself and discovering the poetry, which really, is the truth… for all of us.
Indeed! That’s the power of writing, I think. You can sit back with understanding. Thank you so much for reading.
Well Toots, you just blow me away!
I truly admire your writing, you make it seem effortless. Am often taken aback by your honesty (I, of the TMI generation) but think it’s incredible as well. Wish you had time to write a book or short stories and get ’em published for the world to admire.
Much love to you,
Nan – It’s such a relief to be able to write so honestly and to know that the loving eyes of my friends and family are on my work. It gives me the confidence and the courage to keep going. So appreciate your note. xxxx