Oct 20, 2010

My Furry-Bottomed Friend

I promised you a word. Just one word. And it’s taken me months to find it. Why couldn’t you just ask for a cinnamon bun like a normal person?

Some words were just too obvious, some too trite, and most too generic and zodiac-ish that don’t capture the unique You. Yes, you’re alive, vibrant, honest, true, beautiful, fun, creative. Outrageous. Yes, you’re a listener, a laugher, and even at those times when we let the world get on us a bit too much, a shrugger.

Nurturer, lover, dancer of all media and rhythms and emotions and tribes. Extoler of Virtue, how’s that one? OK, it’s 3 words, but come on, really, one word for the myriad interwoven patchwork of You?!

Back to the adjectives – brave, tender, strong, gentle, hard-working (hyphens still make one word?), hard-playing, giving and even - once in a while - self-giving. Whole, broken, shattered and glued.

Still no closer to a single word, but there’s the link, the glue. The magical hyphen to bring it all together; for the real essence of a person lies not in the chunky words but in the gooey links between. The impossible way that you hold onto and grow these multiple roles and feelings and involvements, histories and hopes, vistas and valleys into a cohesive Self who has meaning and beauty and consistency.

Velveteen. That’s my word for you. Beautiful broken and rebuilt you. Tattered and shabby from love and life, hugged to shreds then left in a box, warmer of warm beds and cold shelves, faithful through fever and fire, longing and longed for, lover and loved and lost and found. And through it all remembering to laugh and to cry, to share more than hide, to equally embrace faith and despair.

May each new Joy and each new trial fray your edges and wear out your furry bottom a little more. May your tail hang crooked and your ears be sewn back on just strong enough to listen a while longer. You love and are loved by the world. Your softening puzzle pieces fit back together a bit easier, and a bit different, and a bit surprising, every time you play. Every time you find the courage to ask, you build and re-create. You, my Velveteen friend, are real.

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