It seems like all I do these days is tell people to “go write about it.”
My dearest Bird is #3. She’s the third daughter of my parents, and she’s #3 on my speed dial. Of course, I can’t call her anymore because she LIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES.
Let me be frank (because I will be even without your permission): I would love to live on a beach. I would love to not have to “work” for a living. I would love to have a blog called “Endless Summer” anything (unless it required me changing my last name, that is). I would love to not live in America for a short bit. I would love to have my reason for not eating cheese be “I haven’t seen it in stores in at least a month” instead of “I’m just trying to cut back on my dairy to balance my calorie intake.”
But I don’t envy my Bird’s life. OK, only a tiny bit. But I wouldn’t trade places with her unless God or Kermit the Frog wrote it on a wall. You see, her life is hard. If for no other reason than she can’t pick up the phone to call me. That’s right. She. can’t. call. me. See, she can’t call me when her kids are driving her crazy. She can’t call me in frustration because she was turned away from a local government agency because she had *gasp* BARE shoulders. She can’t call me to tell me about the guy she just saw taking a dump on the beach. She can’t call me for my older sister wisdom wit that always gets her doubled over. She can’t call me to tell me about the most fascinating circumcision ritual she read about in her culture book. She can’t call me to chat or vent or celebrate or mourn or giggle or conspire or argue or challenge or encourage. I am one of her rocks; we both know this is true. I am one of the safe harbors, and we are both sorta adrift in life so far apart.
And let’s not forget, that phone line runs both ways. I can’t call her either. So we Skype sporadically. Which is unnatural as far as phone calls go. And then there are issues with her losing power or computers crashing and whatnot. And the 12 hour time difference. And the husbands and children always needing something that used to be fixed while on the phone but that can’t be fixed while on video chat.
I freely admit that I don’t get it. I don’t really get why they’re there. Or what they’re doing.
Which is why I told her to write about it. I said, It is hard to always only see pictures of you at the beach. I want you to tell me about the guy you saw out there pooping.
So I can understand. So I can help her find the beauty in the brokenness. So I can make inappropriate jokes that only she will get (and totally laugh at). I don’t want to only know the good, and I don’t want to only know the bad. I want the reality of her life, so that I can feel a part of it, so maybe we won’t lose each other. I need to know how she suffers so I can know she’s still in there somewhere. And maybe if she writes it out she will find her place in it. And maybe if she writes it out I will see her place in it.