I am wondering, “What comes next?” I have our sweetness again, an unexpected blessing of saying goodbye more irrevocably. Free, but not with you. I don’t even try to determine which side of that choice left the greater impact.
There are still plenty of chains to break. My indoctrination into hopelessness – as a way of appearing unflinching and honest – was pretty air tight. There are some things I wonder if I can ever believe are possible.
But I’m starting. Starting in a small place, that got broken entirely out of love and hope. If I can decide for myself what to make of this inner reckoning, I can decide when the next thing comes along.
I decided that I had cried enough – and that is something I get to decide. I don’t know anymore than I did – but I found out what I needed to, and you filled in the sweetest, hardest spots.
So now, not knowing anything, I start again.
I hope today went ok, and you found some freedom, too – from making the unsaid things into words that at least two people can share. Plus – made you laugh.
And I hope you felt inside your heart all the hearts that have flourished in the shine of your beautiful smile – including mine.
Thank you, honey. Thank you.
Godammit, it may be I have reached the part
where I need Bukowski to map the ordinary
in long meandering lines destined for
Nick Drake on the radio even though
the sun is shining on West Broadway exiting past the World Buffet parking lot gray
You can’t mistake the bells that ring inside that chord,
its full texture, and open.
The coffee medicinal to teach us we can take the bitter in
The sliced almonds’ flavored with white petals against a blue sky
their sharp edges breaking the cool, thin milk.
And Willie Nelson, so help me god, wavering on his tightrope
Tipping tipping almost into the chasm between the worlds.
He has no reason not to say it anymore.
The flowers are for myself so I won’t give up on the seeds that still want to find their way into some tender-enough heart. Where – blindly chancing the warm and the dark – one little root may venture out, feeling its way toward the sweetness it needs to grow.
And to persuade me to believe the evidence of my own eyes – that we are unfolding together, the blossoms and me, spurred to display our tender-enough hearts by a force that will not be resisted – a power that is, in fact, our own.
There is no reason not to dream of planting seeds, even if the winter is very, very cold.
The lemon-yellow stars and their sun-gold throats took all my words away, and gave them back in shine and supple endurance. Their story is enough to tell. How they arrive at the consequence of time and dark, and strain against whatever resistance builds them into folded voices; and how they do not wait for any authority to grant their desire, other than the knowing when the time has come to sing.
The daffodils and mums, and the eucalyptus buds and the chamomile on necks as thin as capellini – all looked like stars, and therefor, shining.
Some of the things you left me without – I’m trying to find them for myself, in just myself. And I’m asking, when the mirror inside turns me into something unworthy: is it more reassuring to protest? Or to acknowledge that what I see feels true?
But I think the best thing is to admit I don’t know. Knowing doesn’t help very much. You never find out anything that way.
I think I was brave. Something beautiful grew inside me, and I did not say no. Me and Beth know how big was the risk, how scared I really was, and how steep the fall turned out to be, and unforeseen.
But you aren’t brave so you can have something.
You are brave because you are. And when the time comes, you will be brave again. You will. There is only one way, and that is to grow.
As it turns out, still crying quite a bit. But also, tulips and the sky-blue-willow world.
I say this not to comfort you, but because I needed to live without these tears for a very long time – so I want to reassure myself that there is no reason to overcome them. And my world is not better without them.
I added a song to the playlist. We can just let John Hiatt take care of the rest.
I took my walk at the botanic gardens, in my furry hat and make-do winter gear, which consists of a thrifted leather coat (windproof) over the free warm up jacket that came with my job (layer). I look ridiculous but I’m warm enough to wander the red willow hedges and glimmering tall grasses, and spin the garden kaleidoscope as long as I want to. The gardens are one of those public homes where my belonging cannot be revoked – regardless of how my private living arrangements are re-shuffled. Barbara loved the botanic gardens, holding forth on its wonders as she pieced her way, brick by brick, to the bench that was as far as she could go without a rest. It’s one of the places we shared, where I can always find both her and myself, even as time passes.
Taking those familiar turns – the aspen-lined path along Starkweather Creek, the quiet edge of the back-40, sheltered by low hanging branches of white pine, snow collected in their long, soft needles – it sank in how many homes I have lost this year. Not only the address where I lived, but the hope of buying my own place. And the place I trusted as dear and certain as my bones – where over and over, I found safe landing from the exhaustion of loneliness – isn’t sending out its beacon anymore. Not to mention my particular corner of our human home: the world of faces and breath and the common sanity of protecting our fellow travelers. Each turned over into nothing I ever imagined, nothing I ever meant to look for or find.