the inconvenience of our sadness

The Inconvenience of Our Sadness

Do you ever feel so tired,

you just weep

and weep

and weep?

Weeping sounds so beautiful,

like a willow—

elegant sadness

stretching out perpetually,

showing off her delicate leaves

draped on bending branches.

My sadness never feels that lovely.

It feels ugly, 

self-indulgent, 

and inconvenient—

an obstacle to all the

Things Which Must Be Done.

The inconvenience of sadness

forces me to reckon with the pride of

tying my worth to accomplishing,

meeting expectations,

and Not Rocking the Boat.

I read that the wood of willows

is pliant (clearly) and tough (unexpected)—

a picture of the unique strength

of things that bend but do not break.

Their sap has salicylic acid,

which anyone with acne knows

heals by stripping away.

The tears of the trees

cleanse as they strip

away away away

the things that needed to go.

The roots are tough and tenacious,

providing a firm foundation

for the vulnerability of cleansing tears.

After the outer layers

have been stripped away,

we are cleansed but vulnerable.

We may find the elements

to be a bit overwhelming,

like gazing without sunglasses

up into the sky on a sunny day.

We might need protective layers

that we can’t provide on our own.

I hate this, but healing

is a communal phenomenon.

The inconvenience of sadness

is wanting to be alone

even as our vulnerable flesh

cries out for communion.

In community, we are wounded,

but it’s also where we heal.

If our communities can’t make room

for the inconvenience of our sadness,

they become brittle shells of things,

once alive but now broken by

the wind of the first storm that passes by.

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