a soft, fierce animal
It’s been nearly two years since the small wild thing began to visit again. At first, he was crafty. He snuck in without my noticing, drawn to residual warmth from being close to loved ones; he crept into a grey-blue dewy mornings next to my coffee and fried eggs; he materialized with tiny sharp fangs behind bracing wind, the kind that makes you suck in sharply and feel alive. He was skittish at first, came and went as he pleased. But over time, the little animal (call him Love or Affection or Yearning) started to linger.
The feeling is familiar, like something I lost and learned to get by without, but haven’t forgotten. At first I didn’t think I wanted to remember what it felt like to love that way, but something in me decided I did, and I (weak soul I am) put up little protest. So when this wild feeling came around, instead of turning towards Business At Hand, I started to feed him a little daydream or sweet memory and he grew bolder.
The warm, growly fellow is now a regular guest, barging in at inopportune moments, associating himself with people and situations where he doesn’t (yet) belong. Last Saturday morning, out of the blue, he nestled up inside me, filled my belly then chest so he couldn’t be ignored. By the time I got home, he’d dug his claws into my throat til it was hard to breathe and my eyes got wet. I curled up in bed for the afternoon and placated him with poems and nostalgia.
It worked, but it’s clear this soft, fierce little orphan creature needs more to thrive.
For now, we’ll make do with brisk mornings, writing, the ocean, more red wine than is typical, listening to good music (gongs!) with our eyes closed, and lavishing attention on people and things who make us feel deeply. When the going gets especially rough, we’ll feed ourselves on busyness.