Then I drove from home to the mall for a Hallmark post, to the camera store to rent a lens for today’s music studio shoot, then to daycare to get Des, and then tried to figure out what to do with him until our friend was coming over for dinner, and Cassidy and Scarlet were to come home from the dentist. I drove on mountain roads, the radio coming in and out, and “Comfortably Numb” came on. I guess it’s obvious I like using song lyrics or songs as blog post titles as often as I can.
Maybe by now you’ve seen that meme of the four-year-old Syrian girl facing the photojournalist with her arms in surrender, because she thought the camera was a gun. I didn’t share the photo and I didn’t fact-check it, but I knew it was too real.
My older sister and I always say we have the same heart. We are over feelings and squishy feelings and sensitive feelings. We are love feelings and overwhelming feelings and feelings so big, you just know you can either change the trajectory of the world, or be crushed by it all. We’re different too. Through years of learning, she has unblocked herself. She can channel her feelings into pretty serious physical awesomeness. And other things. I can unblock myself, sometimes by choice, and many times by force. It just happens. It’s the force of the world and the bravery it takes to walk in it. Sometimes I’m still so blocked, because I just can’t. Sometimes I’m so unblocked, because I just can’t not. And I wouldn’t want to, anyway.
There is nothing glamorous, sexy or super-heroic about withholding your feelings. There’s nothing sexy, glamorous, or super-heroic about blocking love. It’s not that I don’t or I won’t, but sometimes I can’t. It’s too much. I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop. Falling. Crying. Loving. Breathing. I don’t even know. I’m so moved, though, by nearly everything. And I sometimes have to sit in paralyzed silence. And when the world feels like it’s falling apart, I have to remind myself that it’s not. And when I feel like I’m falling apart, I have to remind myself that I’m not. This could be about the Syrian girl. Or Paris. Or Russian jets and school shootings. And love and messy stuff. Parenting and photography and dreams and sadness and laughter. It’s about everything, but mostly about squishy hearts and squishy feelings and squishy love. The squishiest.
Then I think of little Scarlet, who is far braver than I am, and so much more whole. And the way she learns one of the few things I can do freely – photography. She doesn’t block or withhold. She can do things, and she can’t not do them. It’s so fascinating to see what comes out of her camera, and to imagine what will be there for years to come. She told me I could share these with you – all taken by her. She also wants me to print out all 504 photos she took and she wants to bring them to first grade for “Sharing Day.” I told her that might take two full days of school. She said, “That’s cool.” And it is.