Touch Skin

Last night my child turned on the fireplace and placed a bottle of oil and a few small smooth rocks next to his favorite blanket that he’d spread into a perfect rectangle and asked me if I would massage his back. I put down my book and watched as he took off his shirt and socks and laid down in the fetal position awaiting my touch.

Could it be that easy to ask for what you want? How is it that so many of us have whittled down our wants and needs into unspoken miniscule grains?

My step-father died recently and for the last few days I’ve been walking through knotted and complicated ghost scenes from my past. Close friends sent messages asking me if I needed anything? Did I want anything? And, I had nothing to say. I was trained in the school of stoicism and praised for feats of independence and inner resourcefulness. I, too, had learned to whittle away my want. And yet, the sweetness of my child laying his body down in front of me asking me to touch his skin awakened in me a realization that all along, I was teaching him how to advocate for his needs - how to lay down the vulnerability of his ask in safe places. As I was teaching him, I was teaching myself the very same thing.

So, here is my sacred ask: touch skins. What I want is for all of us to urge ourselves towards connection. I want us all to throw away our stoicism - to unknot the knotted stories of what we can and cannot ask for - and to step into the naked truth of our desire. We have this one life. What will we do with it?