the gift

Near the end
of a healing talk
I said,

“I have always felt
like I am speaking
a different language
using the same words
as true English speakers–
the words sound the same,
at the most superficial level,
but everything else is different,
and I have to spend so much time
and energy
trying to figure out
how to speak the real English.”

I continued,
“I had the fortune
to recently discover
people who speak the same English
I do, so that I don’t have to
contort myself to
meet them

already there.”


my conversation partner
asked, using very specific words
I don’t wish to share,
if I’d ever considered
that maybe the way
I experience the world–
vibrant, loud,
overwhelmingly rich
in all its nuance
and texture
and variety–
is, perhaps,
a rare gift,
not a curse.

“I mean,
I guess I’d toyed
with an idea like that
once or twice,
but when you put it
like that …
Yeah. Yeah,
that makes
a lot of

gift-not-curse words
remained with me
through the evening,
and were the first things
in my mind and heart
when I awakened

In the quiet
darkness of
early morning,
I am clear she is right:

I have been given
a real gift in the richness and nuance
with which I experience the world,
and I do not mean
to keep squandering it
by living my life
trying to hide it,
as if
I am cursed–

when the truth is,

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