Twenty-six Forms Relating

A is for anxietyB is for breathC is for circles

A said to B, after she’d had her baby, “I feel so ambivalent and full of anxiety.” B said to breathe, let go of control. C said, “it’ll come around, life’s a circle.”

D is for dis-E is for empty

“But everything is dis— a disappointing disaster. Disconnected, disarrayed, life keeps spinning faster.” “Don’t I know it,” sighed D, “you feel torn apart, something missing inside you tugs at your heart.” “Still,” said E, “an emptiness might be preferred.”

F is for fearG is for graspingH is for holes

“Being full of fear,” said F, “can make us absurd.” “Oh, it shouldn’t be like this,” said A, “certainly not for me, anyway-- My life is ok, my place better than most.” “That doesn’t mean you won’t feel like a ghost," G and H sympathized, they’d been there before, grasping and feeling the holes at their core.

I is for I (singular)J is for jokesK is for killing (with kindness)

I said, “you have to make it about you!” J laughed, the joke was funny to K, too. “Kill them with kindness, that’s what I always say.”

L is for lostM is for melancholyN is for nets

“I’m not sure what that means,” L responded to K, “but I know getting lost is sometimes the way.” “The truth is,” said M, “it’s all melancholy, it’s not only mothers or daughters not jolly. We’re caught in the same net, all quite connected—” “You just can’t always see it,” N interjected.

O is for outsideP is for patternQ is for quiet

O said, “It sounds like you need a shift of perspective, getting outside can help you be a bit more reflective,” “Some distance,” P agreed, “allows the patterns to show, but you’re always a part of it, that’s something to know.” “Sometimes,” said Q, “it helps to be extraordinarily quiet.”

R is for resistance (starts at home)S is for surrenderT is for time

“And you can’t please everyone,” said R, “so don’t even try it. Learn to say no, and practice at home—” “But I don’t ever know,” said A, “what to keep or let go.” “It’s tricky,” said S, “you can’t surrender it all.” T suggested time, “just let it fall. Understand yourself and embrace how you feel, recognize that you hurt, and then try to heal.”

U is for underwaterV is for vision

“It’s the most you can do,” agreed U and V. “And it takes a real vision, following what you can’t see.”

W is for workX is for (silence)

“Oh, and it’s hard,” said W, “but not respected as work.” “Much like motherhood,” A quipped, with a side-eyed smirk. She turned to X, but was met with barely a presence, her words, long ago, broken and silenced.

Y is for youZ is for the end, again, again

Y turned to you, and asked with her eyes, you think this relates to everyone’s lives? Maybe, you say, but how can you know, what people tell you is mostly for show. “No, no,” said Z, “that’s a cynical end, keep going through it— ask again, and again.”