Friable: (adj.) easily broken into pieces or reduced to nothing.
When I was 14 I had a grumbling appendix. The doctors wouldn’t remove it because they didn’t see it as an emergency, but they wouldn’t let me do sports, just in case I sustained a blow and became an urgent case. While I waited for the powers that be to decide what would be done I spent Wednesday afternoons (the time my year had PE) in the library. While there I would write, poetry mainly. One such poem was about how fragile I felt in this situation. For the first time in my life I felt vulnerable and useless, that I would easily crumble into a million pieces. Following the composition (of what is actually pure drivel, produced by angst) I pored over a thesaurus and discovered the word friable.
And so “Feeling Friable” was born.
The last few days have been a challenge, leaving me on the brink of exhaustion. I even had an afternoon nap yesterday and have been keeping myself hidden behind my walls of self-protection. As a woman, a mum and a friend, I feel emotionally wiped out. It has been a time of asking some of my wonderful friends for a shoulder to lean on. It was while talking to B that I was reminded of the poem “Feeling friable”. I found my mind wandering to the title as we said our farewells, the fragility I feel at the moment is not about me shattering.
It’s a more subtle feeling of crumbling into powder, like I could be swept under the carpet.
Last spring I discovered a new side of myself, or perhaps a side of myself I’ve always had was described in a new way? Apparently I showed my Kitten side, by curling into a ball and resting my head in a friends lap at the end of a long weekend, allowing him to stroke my hair ever so gently. More recently I discovered a strong desire to have my hair brushed by a big man with strong arms. To be adored and cherished by him, to be craved but not touched in any way aside from my hair… I’ve never been one for labels, but have puzzled over what any of this means.
Last night, while waiting for sleep and peace to overtake me, I felt a wave of sadness instead.
I am not lonely, I love my life the way it is including the amount of alone time I have, but in that moment all I wanted was to be protected. To be tucked up tight in bed, and have my hair stroked while I drifted off. My strong protector watching over me while I slumbered. Perhaps I’m feeling fragile and crave a safe space to curl up and hide? Or maybe I am entering a softer, gentler phase? Then again, I could just be healing from hurt, and allowing myself to be vulnerable.