Often we use simple terms to describe the friends we know, declaring attributes we most admire or more likely, desire. Either way we find ourselves smiling when we say, she’s fun, outgoing, and a daredevil too!
When we are searching out a new friend, complicated thoughts bubble to the surface. Stating that someone is simply fun isn’t enough. We tend to define what fun means to us. I want a friend who enjoys long walks and tea parties. Who drinks beer and can sing karaoke on a moment’s notice.
Sometimes though, words evade us and we are left with edges of a feeling we can’t quite put into words. Like cool air drifting over us, we are drenched in heightened awareness, and the elusive word(s) are replaced with a picture.
For me it is creased leather cushions.
The buttery leather is inviting. When I sink into it, the creases give and expand as if they’ve been patiently waiting for me. Together, the cushion and me, find the perfect position to rest. I love that the cushion hides the parts of me that I prefer to keep from others, tucking them deep in the folds, like a secret. As I relax into the tawny leather, my mood often lightens. And, whether or not I am aware, peace comes. Often it’s ever so subtle; my nervous leg stops bouncing, I stop futzing with my hair, wondering if it looks flat against my head. The breath I’ve been saving for no particular reason, releases in a slow escape.
There are plumper cushions. Some with fabric that sparkles and sticks to your skin so all can see where you’ve been. Tight weaves leave you sitting high on the cushion, above the other friends. I’ve had those friends-oh, I mean cushions. You had better hold tight to the chair arms because you might bounce right off.
My closest friends are creased leather cushions. While other fabrics may fray or stain, leather endures. However, effort is needed to care for them. A gentle rub or hug. A polish or compliment. Sometimes, just sitting with them when they’ve been wounded, the weight of their pain, carving another crease into their being.
When I look in the mirror, I see creases across my forehead. And fine lines around my eyes and lips. And when I dare to look, the deeper ones mottling my neck. Then I smile and remember that I am someone’s creased leather cushion.