And What of Hugs?

Dear Teacher of Teachers,

And what of love? Is there a place for affection to be expressed without fear? Is it self-evident and safe? Or is it too much like vanity? Some will understand, some will not, where do we draw the line in the sand to tell the tides of the heart, ‘no, you must not follow the moon past this point?’

I feel the sadness of favoritism, of abuse, of calamity, of power, of loneliness and desperation– all creating the strange and hurtful situations that have made our society so suspicious of bonds between one person and another in institutional settings, breaches of boundaries and trust, children confused for peers, possession confused for love and guidance.

Teacher of Teachers, is there a place for, “I love you’s” when you feel their pain more deeply than your own? Can you throw your arm across their shoulders when you are proud? Is there time for a smile of relief and gratitude when they help you solve a problem?

Oh how I miss camp, how I miss the truth of the woods: We are together here, desperately together in a wide universe that gave birth to us, but that has turned us loose to make us strong and beautiful and then, eventually, kill us. All we can do to live in some gratitude and contentment is to put our arms around the whole of human-kind, and take a deep, deep breath.

In Gratitude,

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