Concealed in folded edges is someone I used to be/ grainy with waiting, with wondering/ I am drawn by light// #tinytwitterpoem
Photo supplied by Celia Boyd
“I wasn’t sure what to send you, this is a photo that I just keep coming back to and always makes me feel all the feelings when I see it. It’s not one that my family has framed or anything, its always just been kept in a drawer in their house and not put on display, but for some reason I kept thinking of it when you told us about your project.”
I have loved ones who are hurting.
I have loved ones who are hurting themselves.
Too many people do.
When you love someone who is hurting themselves, it’s hard to look at them. To be with them. To see them.
Someone very, very dear to me is hurting.
Has been hurting for a long time.
Is hurting themselves.
Is hurting me.
When I sit with them and talk, I want to run away, retreat, leave, shout at them to ‘SHUT UP’. It takes all the patience in me, all the patience I don’t have to be there with them. To sit with them. To see them.
I found a stray photo of them in amongst old photo albums early last year. Real, physical photo albums with real, physical photographs printed on glossy paper. A novelty. The photo is of a younger them, smiling cheekily into the camera with two dimples prominent on either cheek. I looked at that photo for a really long time.
And then I cried.
For a really long time.
I cried for all the distance and time separating that tiny human in the photo from the angry, grown-up, hurting human I know now. I cried for me, and all the ways I don’t really have the energy to keep watching them hurt themselves. I cried for both of us, for all the lost things, the forgotten things, the promised things.
And I cried because no matter how hard it is to watch someone you love hurt themselves, it’s harder and hurts more to not have them anymore. I cried with the fierce joy of having them still here when we’ve lost so many others.
I cried. And cried. And cried.
And then I placed that photograph gently back into my photo album.
They are no longer a dimpled child.
They are an angry hurting adult.
I can’t untangle the past that’s brought us here. I don’t even know where to start.
But I can sit.
I can listen.
I can see.
I can swallow my impatience and fill my skin with the radiance of loving them enough to wait.
I can be myself. Just that.
Celia Boyd, another of the YSP tribe, mother of many ideas, creator of deep change. Celia is currently living in Cambodia building new opportunities for Cambodia women through her enterprise SHE Investments.
SHE Investments is a social investment business that focuses on women entrepreneurs in Cambodia by providing business training, capital and mentoring.
Living in an extrovert inclined world means that amazing people like Celia, who are more introverted in their approach, don’t always appreciate how truly amazing and inspiring they are.
We think you’re a rockstar Celia. Sending big love to Cambodia!
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