June 5, 2019

            Today I found some horizontal branches creating the perfect hammock or cradle. I laid down on it, looking up to the leaves above. The rain was falling—I could hear it—but the canopy of leaves was blocking me from getting drenched. I moved around a bit and a stick poked me in the face, so I snapped it off and sat up. I started rubbing it against the log I was sitting on and I began to notice how the bark was stripping away on both the log and the stick. I continued to do so until the entire stick was debarked and its softer, lighter woody layer underneath was fully exposed. This got me thinking about layers. Everything has layers—all biotic and abiotic things. Rocks have layers, the atmosphere has layers. Cells have layers, skin has layers. People have layers, personalities have layers.

            It was my doing that exposed this softer, more vulnerable layer of this stick. Layers do not tend to just strip themselves away; it is usually motivated by some external force. A person’s layers are what makes them who they are. People are not just their outer layer, nor just their inner layer. Everyone is a complex combination of beliefs and things they love and everything they’ve been through. I love the experience of getting to know someone through all their layers—including the soft and vulnerable—and me feeling comfortable enough to do the same. I wonder who helps me show all my layers… I wonder who I help share all their layers.

Lauren Nicole Geiser

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