Tag Archives: Birthdays

The world always wants to cheer us up


The world always wants to cheer us up.

“I’m a little sad,”
I say.
“I’ll be in Bangkok for my birthday
and I won’t get to celebrate
with Damien.”

What I don’t say
is that he always knows
exactly what to do
or say
or not say
no matter how I’m feeling
about the bigness of the number that I’m turning.

Here’s what my friends say,
“But your friends
in Bangkok
are throwing you a party.”

“You can celebrate with him
when you get back.”

They mean:
Cheer up.

Me. I’m a blessing-counter.
I’m counting them right now:
1. Five lovely friends
in Bangkok
to celebrate
the anniversary of me
with chocolate cake.
2. Others kind friends
who want to cheer me up.

But sadness is okay.
It’s just a feeling.

Our inability
to tolerate
to sit with
the sadness of others
and also our own
is a kind of disability.

We must stop sweeping sadness under the rug.

Where will all that sadness go
if no one listens?

Will sadness start showing up
with its bodyguard

This is how teenagers feel
almost all the time.

Just listen.