personal space at nautilus teachings


we all know them
the ones that get
super close to our faces
to speak,
so close
we can smell
what they had for lunch
or tiny droplets land upon
our cheek as they talk…
they mean well
and i am not sure
they realize
we are not
but ultimately
they are invading
our sacred space…
i guess for the most part
it’s not a huge deal
unless it makes you
as it does so many
introverted people
people suffering from depression
and those of us
who just like air to breath…
it’s like the car that rides
the center lane
nearly kissing your car
so you slow down
veer to the left or right
anything to avoid
a collision…
this is how person space works
we must wait to be invited into
someones space-
even for a hug
because guess what
even though you make like hugging-
and i
do do do love hugging,
some just don’t.
they don’t even like to be touched.
i was recently hugging
a dear friend of ours
when i noticed
he was not hugging back
so i untethered myself from him
and placed my palms on
either side of his cheeks…
he looked down at me
and said,
“what are you doing?
why are you touching me?”

now this is a close friend i love
and we hug all the time.
this was my sign
that something is off
i had prior knowledge he was not himself,
but i was trying to make him
feel loved…
see that?
“i was…”
“make him feel”
this is a big
no no no
but little ole’ me
just blinked my eyes
dropped my hands
stepped back
and said,
“i love you.
i am here for you…”
then i walked away…
he wandered around
the festivities
never really talking to anyone
definitely not making contact
with another human being…
d and i shrugged
held each others hands
and i said, 
“listen…no matter what
you will never scare me away
and if you are ever silent
or off i will pull you in so tight
you cannot breathe, stewart…”
he just smiled
and gave me that
‘that’s my blonde ambition for you…’ look
he gets me.
but i felt bad that i invaded
our dear friends
and very private space
when what he wanted
was to be left alone…
we are faced with decisions like this
sometimes in our lives
and today,
three days later
i can tell you,
i am no longer sorry
i did that because
it may have been my last chance
to hug him so tight for a while
and i needed him to know
i love him-
of his circumstances at this time…

i learned a long time ago
that people can die
without warning
especially when you are told
‘they are not going to die’
-as my father told me
about my mother-
and then,
their last breath
leaves you
never be stupid about any illness
in those you know and love…
every moment
we encounter life
healthy or otherwise
we are given a chance
to listen
let that person know
they matter in our lives
because like the quote says,
“don’t judge me,
you have no idea
what battles i may be fighting…”
rise up each day
thank God for blessing you
another morning
be kind to everyone
even before your coffee
if need be…
just grasp every nano second you can
spreading happiness and joy
always remembering
there is a minuscule chance
you may never see
anyone again
because tomorrow is not promised…
when someone gets in your face
or your personal space
and it is making you uncomfortable
i recommend you giggle
gently nudging them
backwards with grace…
trust me
they will get the hint!