You are soft, and kind. Though the water rises and envelops you, it is not the pressure that seeps in but the safety and the smallness of space. The safety you feel is within blankets of silence, a sheet of paper-thin validation. Like velvet you are cherished, a silk dress slipped slowly on the body. Your touch is a continuous ebb and flow between longing and receiving; never needed to ask as your wants have been fulfilled before the need. You are silence, fresh linen and an anonymous breeze.

You are coarse, and stubborn. In adversity, you grow back and rise to hold your neck above the tides, gulping in big breaths of air. A flickering light that refuses to blow out, dreaming to become a forest fire. Before you were cut down like lumber, you grew uninterrupted, reaching out like stretched limbs to a sky uncertain of colour. The feeling of crumbs on lips licked off with a dry tongue. You are weeds peeking through the boards of an old, familiar home.

You are smooth, and trustworthy. When painted and coloured you are occupied by personality, given a fickle moment for calm. A salt lick for wounds and dust collected. The scabbing is prodded by the inevitable sharpness. You rip and tear and reconvene. Curling and twisting over yourself unattended, like wild horses or curls or words. In the inconvenience you are bit down to stubs. You are strength deserving bristled down.

You are unknowing, and volatile. Your appearance has been set since the beginning, scathing an empty canvas and settling between the grooves of cloth. The movement of growth does not inhibit the root. A dark piece on white ice, a blemish on the surface, you remind of deep waters and a way inside. Expanding, multiplying in time, like the rings of a tree. You are the core of amber-coloured maple.

You are deserving, despite of your unconscious softness. Your soft-shelled will can make greatness of an angry environment, the unsupportive and the doubtful. In open fields of a great yelling of thunderous winds, you spread your arms and accept all that will come to you. Open minded, open heart. Like stone under streams, you adapt and give way, but will never entirely disappear. You are eternal, grateful, subservient to the forces of nature.

You are healing. A detail often forgotten, a gift unnoticed like the eventual closing of a wound. It is never sudden; it will creep and cover the pain in thick protection. If we were not to hold a strength like this—a silent, natural growth from harder times—our insides could slip out of our grasp. Our coat thickens, a winter-coat to protect for the harsher times. Safely, soothing, selfless.

You are healing. You are giving your best, even without the support of the mind holding the puppeteer-strings.

And for all this, I thank you.

Jasmijn Ooms

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