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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

I Have an Island (pt. IV - The Animal)

Here, have a beer, and let's talk about the one unique animal that lives on your island.

If you haven't read parts I, II, and III, then I suggest starting there before reading this. If you have not read part I at all, I suggest you read it and write down a few notes about your island, about your box, about your animal, about your ladder, and about your storm before continuing to the others.

The animal on my island seems to be an outcast. She doesn't fit in with the penguins sliding down the ski hill, and she rarely interacts with the lynxes roaming the sandy beaches. She reigns with a quiet purr and walks with a confidence that beams from her hazel-yellow eyes. A confidence that is often mistaken as anger as she surveys the forest with no intent other than living in her space. She graces the earth with her presence each time her paw strikes the ground. She is big, she is strong, she is athletic, she is fierce and she carries her greatest strengths on her back as a display for everyone to see. She doesn't like to be bothered and will never intrude, she doesn't get too close to me and I don't get too close to her, but the respect we have for one another is paramount. She stops pacing and provides a slight nod of her head, almost as if she is offering me a bow when we make eye contact. I respond with a lesser nod and a still wave before we carry on about our day. Our interactions are seldom but there is security in knowing that she knows where I am and I know where she is. It's a security that tells me I am protected and a comfort that I know she is never too far away. I carry the same posture toward her and hold her heart in my most easily accessed thoughts. While always in the background she is always my first choice. A beautiful, unspoken dichotomy.

Sometimes, that is exactly the relationship that I need to have with my wife. Sometimes it is best for me to not be bothered while knowing she is available and regularly reigning in my space. When I am in an unhealthy place, I lust for her confidence and crave her quiet purr. I likely will never admit to needing help but she carries her strengths on her back and allows access to them while I search for my own. She won't intrude, she won't press, she won't force but she offers the security of protection when I fall. She is never far away and observes from a perspective that senses my breaking before I break. Her respect for me combats her urge to fix, and my respect for her humbles me. I appreciate the distance but I love her presence.

The animal on your island represents your spouse or future spouse. If you know Joslin, then you know that she is not an angry-eyed, quietly purring observer who doesn't fit in with other people around her. She is, however, a strong, confident presence who offers perspective when I fall and allows me to rely on her strength when I can't find my own.

Cheers to your spouse.

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