“I want to unfold. Let nothing in me hold itself closed. For where I am closed, I am false. I want to be clear in your sight.” - Rilke
I hurt my shoulder this past weekend. I don't really know how, and I have full range of motion now, but Monday I walked around with my arm curled into my stomach like a broken wing.
What are you carrying that you need to let go?
I heard this in the early morning hours as I was lamenting the pain. I scowled and shut my eyes tight, not wanting to listen or acknowledge the slow work of healing.
Later, the tears would fall as my friend rubbed the muscles taut like guitar strings. "You're meant to be heard!" she would say. "You're not meant to be bound. You are free. You are meant to fly and believe in these dreams because they are good."
The tears fell and my throat opened up and I gasped for air—for breath—my muscles drinking in the oxygen and stretch. I closed my eyes tight again.
Oh but flying means listening to myself. It means trusting that the stretching of these wings won't result in a crash.
I came home with an assignment: lay down on the bed while Russ works the muscles of my chest, compressing toward my shoulder and down my arm. Rinse. Repeat. Breathe.
Two seconds after his hands touched my skin the tears began to fall again.
His hands hesitated. "Does this hurt, love?"
"No...well...yes but....keep going. It's not that. I'll tell you to stop."
And I sat there, my eyes squeezed tight again but this time, I was breathing in tandem with the rise and fall of his chest. This time, the tears puddled underneath and I didn't move to wipe them or stop them or hide them. This time, I was listening to the motion of my love's hands. This time, I was leaning into the slow work of healing and learning that often, the stretching of these wings often takes the gentle touch of one who knows me best.
I opened my mouth, and whispered.