allison miller

Cheerfully, I lend her my extra large umbrella for the silent walk, and walk behind her.  I don’t need it today because I have my raincoat, and she does not have either.  As she walks ahead of me, I see the largeness of my umbrella from another perspective. I see how this shelter gets stuck on shrubs, almost pokes others eyes out, and jabs them in the arm. I’m struck by its large radius. It seems to “take” the space aggressively, yet, its purpose is to protect. Is her – my — effort to defend against the storm, unconsciously aggressive? There’s room for someone to walk with her underneath, but no one does. Somehow the umbrella invites and repels closeness, at the same time.

She persists totally unaware of the impact of her large radius of safety– she walks happily, unexposed. I see the umbrella as a portable shelter.  A travelling home that can protect from even the slightest bit of rain. Is this what I want – to be at home everywhere I go, and to avoid feeling even the slightest bit of rain?

I wonder how the others are feeling. Are they angry that she keeps almost poking their eyes out? Do they forgive her because she does not see what she’s doing? I contemplate if there is a way to feel at home in the world without these negative consequences. Is it possible to carry this umbrella differently, or must it be dropped completely? What else might protect from the storm?

walking in my friend’s
footsteps as she reveals mine ~
how I find shelter
from the storm sheds light
on the one who seeks it

walking
in her shadow
I see my own

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