You asked me first

Way back when


– I don’t remember the question, and I don’t remember the setting.

It must have been whether I would like to go out. It must have been warm, just us.

I only remember your pulse, your breath in mine, and the bold answer, the only one available.

So I went out, into the spring breeze, into the world, with your pulse as mine, strong and red, warmed by you from the inside. In the face of faces and other soulsongs, it grew stronger, my pulse. In the echos of that of the other people, it created an extra beat – mine. So wherever I went, I felt you in others, through words and through touch, and I answered with you, with mine. Out in the streets, our dialogue was strong with the little, weak with the aged. The little ones trusted you just as I did, just answered, while the old only seemed to borrow you, always questioned. They did the math, and worried, all the time, that something would be missing. Those wrapped in wrinkles tiptoed, whispered, hid away. Was their pulse really only lent to them? Did I have to return you one day? Do I?

I’ve lived in questions and answers since, just to try them. To see how strong they are. Whether they will bend in the winds of adult opinions, whether they will bow in the storm of children’s memories. And you know, they do, bend, all the time, all of them. They always change, always promise, never commit. So I dare say: questions are the property of grown ups. This property makes them doubt, forget to commit, unable to live. Why is that so?

And there it is, Why. It’s the hardest of them all. It’s unkind, too, because it stops and paralyzes. It seduces first in hot summer nights and then strikes with lightning in the black storms. Why?

So far, whenever it appeared, you took me by the hand, swept me away, danced with me. There in the buzzing summer fields, you made me hear my own rhythm again as you lifted me high and then dipped me low. With every setting of the sun, you grounded me once more in the pulse, the initial breath, the only available answer. And now, as the leaves turn, as winter reaches out to us, just as it has to all the old and wrinkled, just as it always has, always will, I feel your warmth within. I feel the pulse, my soulsong, and I begin the dance anew, with the feet of a little girl. There, you have me smitten all over again, you and your trust that all we need to live again is a Yes.