Interior friends

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Winter in Chicago

Dear Shawnrey,

I have but a paper between me and the end of this quarter. A few hours. 12. Perhaps 15. It could be as long as 19 I guess. The sooner i finish the sooner I’m done. I am not working on it quite yet. I wanted to sit and write for a moment, and thought instead of writing to myself, I would share my thoughts with you. You are somehow a very interior friend. As though there are pieces of myself that dwell within you and there are pieces of myself that I don’t know how to be that I see in you. Smile. It makes it safe to share everything. And of course you are so very different and separate from me and this is what allows me to connect with you so strongly! Smile. So… Thinking of you and life. The snow slush falls here – it began falling earlier this afternoon, and it turned the roads into slippy sides, it’s sort of the same texture as soap suds – far slipperier than you think it’s going to be. Another smile for you.

How has your day been today? It was so good to talk with you the other day!

I am working on building me too, shawnrey. I think that there is something about me that struggles to look beyond the community that I am immediately in to reach outside of it to give of myself and my time and my love. And yet I am so willing to give those things so powerfully to the community that I’m in – for me DDH and the relationship I’m in and friendships that I want to maintain and people at school. Interesting, isn’t it. A process of ever-growing. Sometimes I feel so confident about my love and my beauty and my value. And then other times I feel so unsure of it, so uncertain as to why another person would love me, could love me. There is so much of me that craves love from the outside. I think we share this sometimes. And part of our growing is learning that the most important love is that which we give to ourselves. For I think we are drawn to people who really and honestly love each other. We see beauty in people who know their own beauty. We find joy in the joy that other people have overflow from themselves. Interesting, isn’t it all?

One a slightly different note, I so appreciate your ability to see who I am and not put me into a box that isn’t pretty closely shaped to Thandiwe. This perhaps is what I was getting at earlier, that you are an interior friend who sees what is inside of me and not just the “outfit” I happen to be wearing for the time. It’s such a gift. To be seen as we are. I hope that I am able to give this gift to you for it is really priceless. One of my friends here talked a great deal about being invisible. Growing up invisible. I think one of the things that she was talking about is that people failed to see HER. They might not see anyone. Or they might see a girl, or they might see a black girl. But people would put her into boxes and never quite see who SHE is. And I think that you give me the gift of seeing me. And that is such a beautiful thing. i think perhaps this is something that we want in our lives, to be seen. I think it can be something that we try to give other people – to see them actually for who they are. Who they really are. Hm. And I think part of being human is that at some point, we do end up putting the people we love into boxes they don’t fit. And this opens us up to disappointing them and being disappointed by them.

Hm…. Anyway, lots of thoughts. Have you ever read “Traveling mercies” by Anne Lamott? It is beautiful! I think you would like it. it’s my gym reading, and right now, frankly, it’s getting me to the gym. Smile.

I am off to write my paper. I love you dearly! Be well.


About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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