Often my partner will place a hand on me, my hip, my shoulder, my thigh, my arm, my chest, and I will feel at once broken apart and held together. The way that hand holds me I feel safe and encouraged to let go, I breathe deep and swim in colors, my energy spreads out and connects with the universe yet I feel we're alone with only our love. Our love.
It lasts. This unique feeling, this new feeling stays with me while I work, write, skate, read, dance. Oh, how it grows when I dance! I facilitate the growth, encourage it, now that I know this feeling. I close my eyes and feel that hand on me. I feel it hold me with a tenderness that's somehow strong, promising not to let go. That magic hand. And I fall deeper into the music. My body moves and I escape its borders, growing out into the room and imagining scenes I'm every part of and so is the universe; it is not about me yet always me. That hand promises I can go where I will without fear because it will hold me, my partner will hold me, and I won't be lost.
I look into the eyes that look at me and feel connected, feel supported, feel seen. How had I not noticed this lacking in my life? Or, more honestly, why did I think only I could see me and hoping others would was childish and weak? In fact, with my partner I see more.
I seek those eyes for stories of their own that might break free when my hand touches the body they belong to. What part of me, or who I am, is like that magic hand for my partner? Love has not made me never worry, I worry that I don't have a magic hand at all. I worry that I am not giving back the intensity I am being given.
But love has given me the confidence to try, to ask. Because I want this love to continue to grow with our participation, with our desires and hopes gathering sustenance, so the avoidance of asking would take more strength than fear of the answers; fear of failure.
Being in love, being loved, being touched by a hand that gives me freedom to become, a hand that doesn't try to paint over my scars but instead explores them to understand, is surprising me. It is unexpected and deeply, deeply, wonderful. I want this for me.
I want this for others.
It doesn't matter to me if the love is experienced by people of the same or different genders. If the love is experienced by people with the same skin color or spiritual beliefs. If one is more able bodied than the other, or one is much richer, or one is a generation or two older. It doesn't matter if there are more than two people experiencing the love together, I want this for others.
There is danger in wanting this kind of love so bad we lie to ourselves or justify cruelties (others' and our own) in order to invent it. We might build it out of all the wrong materials on a faulty foundation and simply pretend it is what it isn't.
But it isn't our place to assume someone else has done this merely because their love looks unlike something we imagine love should look like.
The hand that holds me, places itself on my skin and cracks open a new world of meaningful memories and safe vulnerability, is magic to me.
I am better with this.
NOTE: Today, May 17th, is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia. I wrote this love story today because I am an advocate for love, inclusion, and not judging who loves who. My mom is bi-sexual, my son is gay, my other son is bi-sexual, my nibbling is nonbinary, I could go on. I want everyone I love to find healthy love. And that is easier done when the world relaxes it's judgements regarding what love is supposed to look like.