A woman I only know through the blog world sent me a piece of writing today which she had done and it was so fierce and beautiful and frightening and real that I almost stumbled off the planet for a few moments and read it again and found myself wishing I could speak in her poem language but afraid that if I did, my mind-tongue might burn itself to a cinder.
I felt so honored that she would let me read it. I love her for that.
I love women. I just do. I love how women can share hearts and souls at the drop of a hat. How when women meet certain other women they just fall in love with each other in a way that is unlike any relationship that they will have with men or with lovers or with children although you can, I am fortunate enough to know, have that love with daughters when they grow up. Just, boom, heart-to-heart, blood-to-blood, and love is born. I can't explain it, I can't predict when it will happen. I just know that when it does for me I pay attention. I don't take it for granted.
One of the high points for me last weekend was an experience like that. A woman that I "knew" but didn't really, and I started talking while I was helping her with her costume or doing something, I don't really know, and all of a sudden we were talking about real stuff. Deep in the bone stuff. Stuff that made us both cry and look at each other and go, "Wow." We saw each other, really and truly and in twenty minutes or so of conversations, we had made each other laugh as well as cry and I felt as if I'd found a ruby in my coat pocket, an emerald in my garden.
On the surface we are as different as oil and water but in our hearts, we are much the same and we had no idea.
I fell in love.
When Lis came by on Monday we settled into that deep place where she and I can go in two seconds. Coffee? Yes. Sit down, open mouths, open hearts, tears and understanding. Laughter. Do you know how hard it was to let her go?
I love her.
I think I have always done this- this falling in love with women. When I was very young, my best friends were so very important to me. My girlfriends, the ones I shared things with. Not everything. There were so many things in my young life that I could not or would not share with anyone, but other things. Yearnings and how to insert tampons and crushes on boys and sewing patterns and complaints about teachers and questions about life and what it all meant and boys and periods and how it felt when a boy held your hand, and would he kiss you? Would he? Would he?
There were some friends you could talk to about all of these things and you did and you wanted to and you needed to more than you needed food, almost and you bonded together and you knew each other's thoughts before they were said and you never, ever ran out of things to say. Ever. Not even during sleepovers and you talked until you were too tired to talk any more.
Those friendships, they were formative and necessary and they sustained me.
As I have gone through all of the stages of my life, I have found women with whom I've had relationships like this and for that, I feel so lucky. Some women have been my friends since childhood, some I have only recently met. Some women were friends during a certain life-stage and then, like lovers, we grew apart. I mourned those losses for years when that happened but I saw the necessity of it. Women who had held my hand in childbirth grew distant and then became strangers. Women I would have thrown myself under a bus for, or to whom I had told my deepest secrets to struck off on new paths or I did and unbelievably, bonds were broken without either of us really knowing why or how. I still dream of those women. But I do not care to call them.
Some of them have died.
So when I meet a woman now, either through the cyberspace sphere or in my kitchen, with whom I feel that instant connection- who will leak her heart to me and who lets me know I can leak my heart to her- I am humbled, I am amazed, I am lifted up. It is almost as if we allow ourselves to strip naked in front of each other and we can see each other's beauty. Not in a physical way, although I find all of these women beautiful but in a way that goes so much deeper. Look- here I am, here are my imperfections, my sacred secrets, my darkest moments- and she says, "I know. Me too."
It is a mother-thing. It is a sister-thing. It is a thing which cannot be explained by anything short of mystical. It is a woman-thing. It is a thing which bears us up and which saves our lives. It is a thing which brings comfort. It is that hand during childbirth and the eyes which look into yours and say, I know it's hard. I've done it too. It's the writing of a woman you've never met and most likely never will. It's the sharing of emotions about music or children or maybe you have nothing in common at all and there you go- no explanation, just that connection. It may be chemical. It may be genetic. It may be a recognition which we cannot even recognize with our usual senses.
But whatever it is, I am grateful for it. It is a trust which is given and which is received. It is a bond that forms in a second or in years. It is a knowing.
It is love. And when it happens, it is amazing. Women are amazing. Believe me. We are. And the women who know that are so lucky. And when we meet each other, we are the luckiest of all and we are not afraid to strip our souls naked in front of each other. We are not afraid to cry. We are aware enough to find the ruby in our pocket, to bend and pick up the emerald in our garden. We are bejeweled with each other.
We are made radiant in our tears.