Embraces are never casual even when they’re easy. Maybe that’s why picking an image was such a struggle for me.
Often all it takes is a quick browse through Pixabay with the day’s word in mind or as a search term. I scroll until one of the images speaks to me. With embrace, everything came back happy couples. Well. Everything that wasn’t people hugging their cats, dogs, elephants or goats. (No, really.)
All of those seemed unreasonably limiting. Father-soldier & daughter comes closest to what I want to be writing about. Embraces are all about the spaces between. Homecoming hugs, Farewell ones.
Embrace is a one of those “it’s a noun, no it’s a verb” dual personality words, and it can be full of contradictions in each of its forms.
We can embrace ideas as well as people. As an action it’s a lot like commit with expectant streamers of happy anticipation flying along in its wake. We even embrace the future, holding tight to the possibilities that carry us flying into the new. It takes hope to embrace…hm, these words all build and touch on each other, don’t they?
ANYway . As an act, when an embrace is a done deal, it can be many things to many people, dependent on circumstance. Embrace travels with commit and courage for me. Touch is terrifying. When I offer an embrace, it’s work. It’s effort. Always. Even when I want to give or receive one, I have to fight some strong, strange part of myself.
Attempting it means the person ‘m hugging is worth a hell of a lot to me. And when it all goes off well, when an embrace is at its warm, perfect best, I am as energized by the result as I am ambivalent before the attempt.
And even when it’s not perfect, there’s just something about a hug that closes more than physical dustance. Embraces can communicate comfort, celebration, affection–or in their darker aspects, control and helplessness–but they are always an exchange. A way to share and join. And when applied to ideas, that’s a stupendous concept. When we embrace life, we are giving to the universe. Pretty damned incredible.
Another thing that struck me, when I was hunting for pictures that could wrap figurative arms all the way around embrace? The number of pictures that captured animals embracing one another. From horses leaning bodies and cheeks against each other to a pile of lemurs on a flat rock, there were enough to rival the soft-focus happy romantic pics for dominance.
And that tells me that the joy of embracing is more than human. It’s bigger than that.
Okay, I went way over time, but I don’t care.
Click here to learn more about the global #AdventWord event/calendar I’m bending to my bloggish purposes: AdventWord
image credit: Skeeze via Pixabay.com