A Story About My Little Brother
My brother has the eyes of an engineer. He can draw you incredibly complicated and accurate diagrams of almost anything.
I don’t know that he does this anymore, but when we were kids I spent a lot of time looking at his diagrams of spaceships, rockets, WWII boats, and airplanes. The latter two usually drawn from memory from books he read about them.
(He can also tell you pretty much any fact about either WWII equipment or the Star Wars Universe, should you ever happen to be curious.)
He’s always been able to understand the relationship between lines on a page and pictures in the world in a deeper way than most people can.
That hasn’t always been a gift.
The problem with clear sight
Most little kids’ ability to critique drawings is only slightly ahead of their actual physical coordination. They can kind of draw a person and to them it mostly looks like a person.
Not so for my brother. He couldn’t draw at all without throwing temper tantrums. Because he knew it didn’t look like a boat. He knew the lines weren’t supposed to curve that way. That his hand wasn’t doing what his eye told it to.
I think a lot of us have this problem
I think it’s endemic actually. As a culture we put so much more focus on critiquing than we do on creating.
And as a result, most of us are much more able to see the flaws in our work than we are able to enter the creative space and keep doing our work so we can get better at it.
But at another level, I think that often the places where we have the largest gifts and the greatest potential – those are the places where we struggle the most to forgive ourselves in the beginning.
If you have a great ear, you can hear ever note you play out of tune.
If you have a great eye, you can see every line out of place.
If you have fantastic logic, you can grasp all your false arguments.
Someday this will be a gift
Someday this clarity will serve you well. It’ll take you so far, keep asking for more. This is the part of you that’s never satisfied.
And that’s good. Or at least it’s useful.
In the meantime…well, life is the meantime.
My brother had my mother
I’m only four years older than my brother so I don’t have super clear memories of his toddler years. But I do remember how he got through his problem with drawing to become the amazing diagramist that he is today.
With my mother sitting beside him and reminding him that it was okay. Patiently. Over and over.
He’d draw something, get mad, throw his pencil. And my mom would make a game of it. “What’s wrong with this silly line? Was it dancing?”
And she’d tell him it was okay, that he was getting better. And eventually he’d try again.
So I’m going to invoke the power of a patient mother, and give myself some love for my meantimes.
Permission to have love in the meantime
Someday I will have a thriving business that nourishes me and acts as a powerful force for compassion and healing in this world.
In the meantime I get at least three people thanking me each week for this blog. And I can keep writing even on the days I wish I could articulate things better.
Someday I will be a mother.
In the meantime I can keep feeling the longing, keep creating space in my life for this.
Someday I will be radiantly present in my body and my sexuality at all times.
In the meantime I’m learning about safety.
Someday I will have enough wisdom to go through life with a little more poise most of the time.
In the meantime I am 24, and I don’t need to be older than that.
Someday I will get through life with a minimum of panic attacks.
In the meantime I am still worthy of love, even when I’m hyperventilating.
Someday I will have an easier relationship with order and structure.
In the meantime I can celebrate how clean things have been staying.
What are your somedays? What can you love in the meantime?
Silent retreating is always acceptable.
Remembering to comment with sovereignty and love.