In the past year, I have become obsessively attracted to people who are hurting. Partly, it’s a mirror: my weight is less with those who too carry loads. But what really draws me: those who suffer the most often love the most.

And forgive.


I am not all I seem — I know what I mean even if you don’t. The secrets I carry have been mine and mine alone, and they have been a source of shame.

Maybe, deep inside, you can relate?


(Elisif as a little girl loved the flowers with both hands, petals broken like so many tattered dreams.)


I fall a little in love just about every day. Walt Whitman knows about this:

“I am he that aches with amorous love;
Does the earth gravitate? does not all matter, aching, attract all matter?
So the body of me to all I meet or know.”

Sometimes, I fall hard.


(I am trying to write about this thing without writing about it.)


Maybe a passage from The Bible will help:

“44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.'”

That last line:

“But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”


Those in pain… who flirt with chaos… who use substances or earn their wages from sin or furtively duck and dodge mainstream so-called respectability because that’s just not who they are or what they can bear… these have become my people. I feel one with them.

I am absolved from sin, and more whole for it.