Five Hundred Words a Day: Request

It’s not about getting what you want. It’s about feeling like you can ask. To ask a question, to request something, to end a sentence with a rising inflection is to be vulnerable. You are saying ‘I don’t have something’. I don’t have the knowledge I need or the feeling I need. I am embodying lack. This is why it’s not about getting what you want. It’s about feeling like you can ask, which is the same as saying it’s about feeling okay with not having something. By requesting, you acknowledge the lack. You face the absence and recognise the space-shape it makes. I am missing something, you say, and now I’ve said it I am okay with it. When I ask him for something, I’m not demanding it. I don’t even assume I’ll get it. I am presenting my lack and saying ‘Can you help with this?’.

Being seen as lacking is frightening. We must be complete, independent, capable and full beings. We must have all the resources we need, all the time, all the functioning without others. Don’t you think? Don’t you think like this? Say no, I dare you. Say I am lacking, I dare you.

Here are things I lack: the emotional resilience to process leaving and support others simultaneously. The level of internal strength I require to do new things with confidence. The organisational skills to buy groceries. Consistent happiness. Trust, sometimes. Balance, most of the time.

Here is a thing I lack, newly-recognised: the commitment to finish things when there are other more interesting things to start. I can finish a job well, but not if there are other distractions which help me feel more engaged, more intrigued. I lack the ability to see things through when there are other, more interesting challenges to the side of the road. I am the dog with the name who finds the pie and the bone and the stranger more enticing.

I am the dog with the name and I’m rushing home to you. Here’s what I request: keep calling me. Keep yelling into the wind. It’s so easy for me to lose my way as I race back to my home, because here is a pie, and here is a bone, and here is another mind to be puzzled by, and here is a stack of a thousand books I will never read and, now, will never be able to read. Keep shouting for me. Make the long-distance call, and make it even if you do not think I will answer, because this is the Jupiter-Neptune alien’s gift to you, roaring human: you do not need to get something back to be appreciated. You do not need to have an echo when you share to know you are loved. I will be a sound mirror soon, crouching obsolete on a coastline, no longer spinning your growlings back to you, sharper and clearer and more beautiful. Before then, before my concrete death; call.