- Leah Van Someren
I Want You to Know Me
You may not know this about me, but I want you to know me.
But if I open my mouth and let words trickle out, what will the ears think?
And if I look a little longer and let my pupils reach for a hug, what will the eyes think?
And if I lose a tear here and a drop a tear there, what will the mind think?
And if I introduce the unpolished, unrefined me, what will the heart think?
I’m not exactly certain the answer and truth be told, I often squander the opportunity to discover. But I do know one thing that you may not know about me…I really, truly do want you to know me.
I want you to know that underneath buttons carefully fastened to the tippy top, is a topsy-turvy, tangled ball of glowing, enchanted ribbon in the shape of me. A kaleidoscope of shattered shapes is the mosaic of me. It’s not systemized or sorted in any sort of way. You see, below the straightforward fastens, it is undone and messy. It’s bizarrely holy, outlandish and obscure. Inside, it’s teeming with giggles and laughter, the kind that decorates the atmosphere when it erupts. And it’s brimming with tears that splash out over the edges of my eyes and kindly wash my face one streak at a time. Each button cinching together an outside-the-lines-on-purpose sort of person. Basically, I want you to know when you’re around me and even yet, still miss me, it’s because I am not being me fully but you’d only know that if you knew me.
I want you to know I deeply desire to swallow light, to gulp it down by the gallon and let it change me from the inside out. I want you to know I crave to forever feast on love and dine on joy. But please also know that even with a seat at the table reserved next to yours, sometimes my heart still settles for picking up scraps off of the floor. And with laughter and life occurring just overhead, sometimes my heart feels lonely and sad. Besieged by fear, it crawls back into its old shell even though it’s now seven sizes too small. “Come out of hiding, you’re safe here with me.” At least that’s what I say when it asks to be free, because it too, wants you to know me.
I want you to know that just behind the home of my heart, through the winding maze of my thoughts, there is a concave meadow with a single swing set in the very center. I want you to know it’s there I venture when I drift out of the room, no matter how full of people. Where idealist greets existentialist and I, like dust particles only made known by sunlight, drift somewhere in between. I am content there but you should also know I sometimes have a hard time finding my way back home. I want you to know you can come with me anytime that you please. Any which way that you are or could possibly be, always know I have space for the entirety of you within me. If my walls are erected, know the back gate is always left unlocked and if you can find it, I’ll never deny you entry. Instead, we’ll sit in the sun with eyes closed, sipping on deep, red wine and for hours, ask the ‘what ifs’ only dreamers dare whisper.
A profound longing woven into the tapestry of my - our - souls, to be fully seen and fully known. This space between breaths that is the congenital passion to be only that which I am, without filters or control. The long sought inclination to be fully exposed, buttons transformed into shrapnel as the sheer amount of human inside discovers she is becoming fully alive.
And yet, even though I’ve experienced the expanse of who I’m created to be, I still fight to refrain suturing myself back together, stitch by stitch, when I feel the unnerving sensation of being undone. For what if my enchanted ribbon is chalked up to nothing more than chaotic clutter and the mosaic of me falls short of the portrait I suspect the world would prefer? Despite this burning desire to bare and disclosed, I frequently find myself camouflaged amongst the foliage of my facade.
For the very thing I long for is the thing I fear most.
To be deeply, truly and fully known.
But maybe, just maybe, it’s the same for you? Maybe I only know half of you? Maybe, if you’re like me, you keep some things to yourself. Those which you’ve declared to be nonsensical or the slightest bit broken, you pack away tight, stashing them in the basement, side closet and on the highest shelf. At least then they are out of the way of the public.
Because what if we - you and me - know the other is nowhere near sorted? And what if underneath the unnaturally straight line of buttons, we know there are questions without answers and answers without questions? And what if we see what frolics through space in between is everything wild and wonderfully untamed? Things like half-thought sentences waiting to be heard and half-felt emotions begging to be stirred.
I guess I don’t know - can’t know - for sure but from my time swinging in the middle of my meadow, I’ve started to wonder what if it’s true. What if you are like me and I am like you. And now, stronger than my wonder, I’ve started to hope. What if the very mess we are is more than okay? What if that’s the most lovable version of us anyway?
And if words trickle out of your mouth, my ears will collect them.
And if you look a little longer and your pupils ask for a hug, my eyes will embrace you as long as you want.
And if you lose a tear, no matter how many, my mind will never forget them.
And if you introduce the unpolished, unrefined you, my heart will have the honor of knowing you too.