I’m creeping out of my dark, quiet nautilus shell, sending out tiny feelers.
One at a time.
Where are you world?
Where are you of ye of quivering faith?
Where are you, depression and sadness and regret that has no name or face but resembles my son?
I’ve been hiding, rejecting myself and rejecting the tenuous, diaphanous emotions that I’ve coiled around myself and shoved into my mouth and sewn over my eyes.
I kept a sign over me. Don’t look…nothing worth seeing here.
For a while, I kind of felt like the graceless part of me was a bit dead. I was ashamed and embarrassed at my cocky dreams and arrogant over-confidence. Everybody loved me. Everybody thought I was great…oh so great.
Oh so confident.
The balsa wood pier foundation that I had built for myself teetered and crumbled. One by one. And I fell to my metaphoric knees and surveyed the destruction that I had created, had birthed. And I drank regret like a bitter wine that had vinegar-ed.
I’m not a good wine, an aged artifact from some foregone age. I’m just a bit of vinegar impregnated on a hyssop vine and offered as some form of salvation that I can’t even promise.
I lived in such a painful spiral. Long moments of questioning that ceased with sunrise and sunset and four miles of walking that I abandoned because I couldn’t breathe through the sadness.
I contemplated nothing. I thought of silence and absence and existential nihilism. I touched my skin and felt age and dehydrated emotions that sifted from my shoulders, from the hollow between my breasts where my clavicles meet in a cupid’s bow.
I searched for hope, for renewal. I craved the holy water to cascade down my throat and awaken me. I missed the old, blissfully ignorant me who ran in circles and laughed hysterically and ignored the touch of emptiness that yawned with magnificent hugeness and could swallow me if I just stopped spinning.
The spinning stopped. I submerged. I breathed in rusty water and sank into the silt. I waited for the sandy water to still, for the oysters to filter away the suspended dirt. I waited for the moment when I could finally allow myself to feel the burning sunlight that, refracted and refined by the water, would crack me open.
I lived in pink vulnerability swaddled in muslin fears and defenses. I pricked my skin with rose thorns, testing my resiliency. I watched the blood well, dry, flake away. I waited for the point when I could resume my life, when I could walk, once more, on to my path and know that I had refound my name, my birthright.
I am here. With scars etched across my brain. I have sewn myself back together with heavy fishing line and fibers ripped from quill feathers. plaited together with promises and choices and the fragments of syllables and words that I have yearned to speak but was too afraid to voice.
I live in a world where a silver water tower looks like an aborted and refined missile. I live on a street where the rooftops of century old stores are picked out in stained glass and polished stones. I live in the center of a spectrum uniting poverty and wealth and I feel the colors of both worlds within me. I rest my hands in the colors and am moved.
Daily, I drive through a landscape that undulates from a tidy town into long fields filled with hopes and oaths and history. Sadness and joy grow, are cropped and harvested. Bundles of herbs are tied with ribbons, tied to doorframes, and hung upside down to dry, to soften the air, to release the promise of what will come. Hummingbirds cascade like comets to orbit red feeders and I am filled with the rhythm of the cicadas’ ratcheting songs.
The winding clicks intensify and my heart rises to race to match the beats throbbing in the air.
And then they wind away, silence. My heart slows. I sink back into the chair and feel my skin once more.
Feel the regeneration that can not be denied. The hibernation is over. The long mummified hourglass has turned. The sands filter down once more .
I take a breath. Touch the words. Feel them in coiled suspense in my palms, arching through my veins.
I wear the sadness like a caul. It is a vestigial twin I absorbed within my mother’s womb. It is a part of me. I can not sunder myself from its infant fingers that clasped me decades ago. But I can make peace with it. For now.
Now is my time. To breathe in the world waiting for me. To exhale the dust caked in my lungs.
I plunge my hands into the earth. I can raise my torso, as though I were a runner in the starting position.
Or I can kneel and dig further, to plant, to sow.
Or I can lay down and listen to the pulsations deep within the world, hear the something that is there, waiting for me to follow.
Regardless…I have my peace.