HEAR HERE

I’m having the sinking sensation
of love
gone awry.

It’s that feeling you get when two people
seem to be speaking
different languages
using the same set of words.

baltimore-bricks-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk12

You know…
that thing where fear
acts like
coldness,

and frustration
gets loud,

and “I’m right”
sounds an awful lot like
“you’re wrong.”

From my vantage point,
at least,
there have been quite a few times
this week,
when I’ve felt the sting of grace
withheld,
judgement delivered,
kindness delayed,
and common ground
abandoned.

I’m hanging in there so far.

But I’m starting to fear
that this latest backlash
may be one lash too many
for some.

baltimore-bricks-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk13
I’m afraid
that good and valuable people
are about to write each other off
too soon,
because the alternative is just
so
much
work.

After all,
staying together
without destroying each other
will probably require
hearing each other.

And hearing each other is
nearly impossible
when you’re reduced
to a cliché.

And even when you’re not,
hearing is hard,
and inconvenient,
and annoying,
and exhausting,
and almost always risky.

Especially if you might
hear something
that requires
expansion,
or growth,
or sacrifice.

baltimore-bricks-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk11
But all of those things are
usually worth it,
I think,
when there’s something
worth fighting for.

And I think we are worth fighting for.

We.

As in, all of us who live here
together
and currently disagree.

Yes, some relationships are
toxic
and they do need to end.
(I know this well.
More well than I wish.)

But I hope that’s not us.

I still believe
we have more in common
than we don’t.

I think we have a thing
worth saving.

And if we are to possibly save
this thing,
we might need to stop
telling
and start
hearing.

Or, even better,
start
asking.

__
One of the most powerful tools I’ve acquired in my lifetime is curiosity. It doesn’t always come naturally for me, and occasionally I’m afraid of what I might hear, but I’m trying to use more of it these days in particular, because it usually leads me away from judging and toward new and beautiful truths.

Here’s to maybe being a little more curious about each other, friends. And a little less sure.

xxoo

__
P.S. Aren’t those bricks the best? They were another great find in downtown Baltimore on my recent business trip. We came upon a park paved with dozens of homophones. It was the word-nerd version of a yellow brick road. If only I would have had time to capture a few more…