Welcome to my newsletter, Abbe’s Ruminations. I mull, contemplate, ponder – old and new experiences, finding what I call the joy and laughter of repetition or the abandonment to not knowing.
There are word that carry weight… others are light.
For years my mom would tell us that everything was fine, until it wasn’t.
Fine meant, don’t ask. Fine meant I’ll be okay. Fine meant that I won’t share with you what I fear. Fine meant don’t bother me. Fine meant that if I open the can of worms, they’ll all escape and take over my life. Fine meant I’m fragile.
Four letters that could be replaced with– good or well. To add a couple more letters, you could even say happy, difficult, worrisome.
Fine in my mind is less than okay and when I use it, I feel the tremors my mother once felt.
To acknowledge that life is harder than expected, is a request for help. My mother was too proud to show her softer side. Thinner than a sapling stalk, dryer than a twig with her flexibility gone, she didn’t want to snap.
I’ve warned my friends and family that even though I’ve inherited my mother’s strength, I hide my vulnerabilities. When I use the word, fine, beware. Be patient, observe, ask a wide-open question that can’t be answered in one word.
Help too is trigger term—another four-letter word that needs to be expanded to include seen, acknowledged, supported. Help is aid, an addition to what is right. Help is to offer a hand—joining in. Help expands the horizon even as the world seems to be closing in.
So many people say, be positive, be here now, as if they are the grand philosophers. These phrases have become hollow acting as summary dismissal of what lies below the surface. Mentioning a worry, a pain one feels emotionally or physically doesn’t preclude the present, doesn’t shut out the positive. These phrases signal to the listener, the one bearing their soul—I don’t want to hear anything negative; you are disturbing me.
These words are only words. The eyes show the inside world bright or dull, the hand reaching out offers the aid, a hug makes one feel the connection.