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Can you see me?

'Can you see me?'
'Can you see me now?'

The voice belonged to a mop of blonde ringlets, to a pair of tiny sandy feet stretched up on tiptoes, spotted in the three-inch gap between the ground and a fence. Little eyes peeking out between the gaps in the wood.

Can you see me?
It was a moment created in a split second, but the saying played itself over and over in my head. 
It happens sometimes. Phrases that I read or hear get caught in the net cast by my imagination, captured and compelled to repeat themselves over and over again until they are released. 

Can you see me now?
This little, blonde, sandy stranger had articulated perfectly the question that my heart had been trying to articulate for a little while now. Do you ever get that? Sometimes you don't know the question your heart is asking until someone asks you? (No you never get that - that's totally okay too).

But can you see me?

Can you see me here, trying with every bit of strength I have to convert this life I am living into a lesson, trying to learn from every conversation and observation. Trying to be open to the things there are to be learned about you and I, to be present and open to learning in the moments when it's just me and my fears and worries and faith and the fragments of things in between? 

Can you see me now?
Can you see how far I've come - how much more settled in my skin I am? How I made peace with my ghosts and goals, how I learned to love them until they stopped making me feel unlovable, and let them go at the same time?

Can you see me?
That question sat hard and heavy on my chest for a week. I had thought this was the only question weighing down my heart, but it appears it was only a half.

The second half of the question arrived a week later, sandwiched in the middle of a late night conversation, somewhere between banter and burnt toast. A simple turn of phrase, but it got caught in the net; a wayward thought that triggering a hundred other ones.

'Who am I to you?'
'Who are you to me?'
As if such a question could ever be asked.
Or answered.




Who am I to you?
As if I would dare ask you. And yet I want to. Badly. I think we all do. We all deeply desire to ask that question to those we value and hold close, to those we know and those we are just getting to know.

Who are you to me?
As if I could ever articulate accurately what you mean to me. As if the twenty-six letters that make up the English language could ever arrange themselves into words and sentences and chapters that would describe what you mean to me. What you have been to me.

Who am I to you?
Which pocket of your life do I fit into, if any at all? Which need do I meet, if any? Who am I playing in the scenes that constitute your life? Are there lines I have to learn, cues I need to watch for, exits to stage right I need to know about?

Who are you to me?
As if I could only answer this with words. When pondering this aloud with a friend, he suggested we answer this not with words but with our actions. He is both right and wrong, for how deceiving are our actions, how manipulative are our insecurities, how warped are our perceptions? How our hands and eyes give us away, how our tongues twist and falter around truths, how our acts of love can be misconstrued.

Who am I to you?
How we are asking this daily in our interactions. How we long to know our place in the realms of each other. How we wish to know where we fit, like stars that question the constellations in which they belong.

Who are you to me?
And who will you be to me in days to come? Will you remain ever close as you are now, will tides of time tug and pull us apart? Will we scatter on impact like a handful of glass marbles? Will we be forever bound to one another? Our connecting cords stretching across oceans and up staircases?

Can you see me?
Can you see me now?
Who am I to you
Who are you to me?