Letter to a Dear Young Friend
Dear one, your beauty and spirit are extraordinary; your young lithe body and creative mind are a wonder.
In movement, as dance or karate - beauty is function, in movement with grace. In dance as art form, in no way mechanical. In other “fine movement,” you make jewelry and crafts with uncanny ability –not read and figure – just see and do!
Your drawing. . . with a grasp of perspective and form more like a high school than middle school student. Through perseverance and practice, mostly on your own, driven by a passion that won’t let you stop. Fueled by a creativity that has one often wonder “where did that come from?” but it works; those juxtapositions of the ordinary on the bizarre (abstract they call it). You draw/paint not with an obsessive compulsion, but with a passion that burns bright and strong.
You are curious – finding interest in history and geography, especially the people and cultures of the past and far away. You excel in conversation, in connections and wit and yes at times, wisdom far beyond your years.
You are spirit, with a brightness and lightness uncommon. You can be seated between two “rivals” and have the three of you laughing together in a brief while. You do not focus on negativity but manage to stay in a lightness of spirit.
And then there is, as you say, your “problem.”
You were not labeled. It does not “show.” To anyone. Really, ever. Yet your unseen woundedness; the sense of inadequacy; of being, somehow – some weird how – less than the others you are surrounded by.
Dyslexia, some call it. Math and reading disability. You would have felt it ‘stupid,” as the learning would. not. come. Math facts would. not. stay. Well-meaning refrains of “study more” and “try harder, pay attention” were never helpful. “Sideways” learning – new and different ways to accomplish the same task, therapeutic interventions, coupled with the developmental progress of time itself did help you learn to read, and well. You read aloud with exceptional diction, expression and drama. Though I suspect it is still at the expense of easy comprehension and remembering what you’ve read, with the mechanics of reading still getting in the way. No, it is not easy. Yes, you must work harder than “the others.” And God made calculators. While you comprehend the theories and methods of higher math, those pesky math “facts” simply will not become automatic.
You say you are saddled, anchored by your “problem.” I wonder though, if it weren’t for The Problem, might you rise so far above as to fly away?
As that story goes, when they asked what gifts you wanted, I see you bright-eyed, gasping “this! and that! and this!” – grace! and wisdom! and creativity! and compassion! and empathy! and wit! and insight! So much so, dear one, that there simply was not room for Math facts and Letter skills. And there was nothing you were willing to give back in exchange.
I love how you live in your gifts; tolerate your challenges and do not permit them to define you, even as you struggle. May you always live in that knowledge and celebrate this Incredible You.
Much love, "always and forever,"