The Hurt In Her Eyes

I’ve learned that I don’t see
What other people see.
That’s a gift
From my ASD.

I see details.
Lots and lots of details.
I always have.
It’s a skill I learned
A lot of years ago.
A skill I had to grow.
It kept me alive.

I learned to watch people.
To watch their faces.
Watch their eyes.
Watch the way they move.
It was the only way I had
To have a clue at all
Of the way they felt.

One of my new friends
Is hurting at this time.
She’s a photographer.
I love the photos that she shares.
Each is a work of art.
Filled with tons of details.

I’ve known so few people
In my life
That could capture feeling
On a page.
In the words they wrote.
In the things they drew.
In the pictures that they took.

She is one of them.
Like the others I have known.
She is a priceless gift
From life.

But I’ve watched her pictures
For the past few weeks.
And I’ve seen something
In them.
Something growing.
Something that disturbs me
Very much.

There is an anger there.
An anger
Caused by pain.
I know that look
So very well.
I’ve seen it
In my own eyes.
Time and time again.

I’m not sure she knows.
She is so very young.
And it took me
More than 50 years
Of watching, learning,
And living,
To learn what I know
About the things I see
In her eyes.
In the pictures
That she shares
With people that she knows.

I know she’s alone
In her home
These days.
He’s in the Navy.
He’s deployed.
And I know
She misses him.

I understand
What that’s like.
To have to let go
Of someone you care for.
As my doctor’s said to me
Many times before.
“Mark,
You identify with that.
You understand that.”

It’s not empathy,
I know.
I’m not very empathetic.
Never have been.
Never will be.
It’s just how I am.

But I do know what it is
To miss someone.
And I know she misses him.

There are times
I want to scream.
When I feel so helpless.
So useless.
When I know
There’s almost nothing
I can do
To help a friend.

And I know
There’s very little
I can do
To help her through
What she’s dealing with
Right now.

There are times I wish
I could do more than I can.
But I now I can’t.
I’m only human
After all.
And there are laws of physics,
Laws of biology,
That I just can’t break.

I’d say there are social rules
That limit me.
But the truth is
There are not.
I just know that there are things
That I shouldn’t do,
Or say,
Because of the trouble
That they cause.

Why is our society
So heartless.
And so cruel.
That we have no choice
But to let another
Hurt alone.

But you see.
I’ve learned
There is one thing
I can do.

I can write.
For when I write
I can say
What I have to say.
I can ask
What I wish to.

I’ve seen the look
In my friends eyes.
That look of pain.
Of loss.
Of helplessness
To stop the rain and wind
Of the storm
That life has sent
Her way.

And I’ve watched the hurt
That I’ve seen there
As it slowly changed
From hurt and pain
To the anger I can’t help but see
In the pictures
That she shares.

So I write.
And I talk with her sometimes.
I even share some pictures
Now and then.

Because I know
One thing I can do
Is try to give a smile
To a wounded friend.
Every now and then.

In the hope that she remembers,
And never does forget.
That hurt,
And pain,
And loneliness,
Are like the other things
We feel.
Like anger and laughter
Both.

They’re transient.
They come and go.

This world that we live in.
A world I never made.
Is broken.
And hosed up.
I know that.

But that doesn’t mean
That things can’t change.
That people cannot grow.

The way things are
Is transient.
Things change.
This much I know.
I’ve learned this in my life
Through the gift
My family and friends
Have always been to me.
And through days
Of both joy,
And pain.

And that is why
From time to time
I’ll write something.
Or share some pictures
Of flowers,
Or butterflies.

With my young friend
Whose eyes tell me
That she’s in great pain.

In the hope
I can help her
Find her smile
Again.

For my heart tells me
This is the way
God meant life
To be lived.

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One thought on “The Hurt In Her Eyes

  1. Pingback: She didn’t know… « Dancing with Fireflies

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