Hail to the Lady on her day. Bless us with peace & patience. Bless us with breath & poetry. Bless our hearts that thaw with healing time & turn to the sun.
The wistfulness of lying awake & seeing the world enliven around you. The lightening of the violet-blue sky into the foggy slate of a rainy winter morning.
The trembling branches heavy with water & shaking off a spatter of drops with a shiver of wind. The dark branches cracking the sky behind the double lattice of window screen & window pane.
The tinny warm noise of the radio near you that seems to mirror the weak familiar street lamps fading in the dawn. A pop song you’d laugh at in the bright day suddenly hopeful & vulnerable, like those fluorescent lights that have held back the shadows all night. A passing car muttering to itself as it leaves for errands work travel.
Looking down & into the world at the height of two stories and feeling everything is so fragile so fragile & in this moment you’re safe & your heart is open & the world is finally catching up to you, the one up since 2am waiting for some strange permission to be up & about like a normal person. You feel the static of your thoughts fill with the morning & you say to yourself remember this remember.
Your mind tries to obey & shows you other mornings like this, mornings you hadn’t even tried to keep for the future. Christmas mornings when the light on the ceiling reflected off of the blue-white of the snow outside; dark fall mornings in your grandmother’s house as she made coffee in a kitchen that seemed in another world & you contemplated dressing in the dark; hazy amber mornings where you stared at the mysteries of the townhouse parking lot & forgot what you did to yourself hours ago with a bottle of vodka & a pocketknife. No no, you gently protest against the images, remember this morning outside the windows.
& as you try to redirect, as you try to make room in your heart for a shining puddle, a dark window breathing pale curtains, the pleasurable luxury of this bed & this moment to yourself, you forget to hold onto the waking world & drift into sleep.
Yesterday was an odd day. I woke up to a temperature of -3° Fahrenheit & a heater that was struggling mightily to heat the rest of the house. My husband & I decided to spend most of the day in our upstairs bedroom where the heat from the sun would be captured & our flannel-covered bed could help keep us warm.
It was like a snow day without the snow; a sick day without actually being ill. We went nowhere, camped out with a bunch of books & busywork, & indulged our cat as he stretched more & more across the width of the bed. But this is not really what was odd.
What was odd to me was the relative quiet within myself. I’m a jittery person that is constantly pacing & trying to figure out what to focus on first, because there are always so many things I must be neglecting or forgetting to do. And I’m still that person to a certain extant, but with the recent PTSD treatments I’ve had have turned a lot of that interior noise way down. I still felt some guilt over choosing to do almost nothing for the entire day, but I was able to do it with the emotional mudslide. I could answer the question, “What about. . .” with a common shrug & let the thought alone.
I don’t know if I’ll ever really stop fighting myself—that constant tension between what I want & what I think I’m supposed to do or what I think others think I’m supposed to do has been with me so long. Anticipate, defend, escape, repeat. But yesterday was the growing proof that the tone could change, that a different balance could be found. And that insight is such a small, powerful thing that it scares me too because it is too dear to be lost.
But the fear is not the stronger emotion; what prevails is the wonder & the hope for the future.
I’ve listened to Matthew Good since high school & this spring, I’m hoping I can live out a dream I’ve had since that time then to see him perform. He’s been posting more frequently on his Instagram lately, especially in the last few weeks where he admitted he had had a near-brush with death again in September of this year. Since I’m dealing with my own mental health issues at the moment, I’ve been inspired by his self-awareness & determination. The following post that I’m reblogging below stood out to me. I’ve reread it a few times, reminding myself again & again that my creativity is my redemption, not my shame.
Knowing who you are is difficult. There are many that spend their whole lives looking. In such cases they tend to be more running from what they’ve never wanted to confront, meaning they’ll spend their lives using whatever is at their disposal to deflect from that reality. There is a marked difference in life between honestly growing and learning and employing the act of it as subterfuge to ensure you don’t have to go into certain rooms in your own proverbial house. In truth, one can run from it for only as long as they can maintain the perception that they’re not running. In my life I’ve grown and faced numerous truths. The growing has been difficult, facing truths has been difficult. It is for everyone. I possess both bad and good traits, like everyone else, but seeing them, acknowledging them, is the key. In that, I have been enormously fortunate because since the age of 11 or 12 I have always turned to the arts to express, and therefore deal, with things. I wrote my grandmother’s eulogy at 14, something I had to do given we were so close and her passing devastated me. I channeled everything into literature, painting, and finally music. Over the last 30 years I have lived with one absolute gift that I’ve been fortunate enough to become my profession. That through art I must succumb to growth – be it ugly, beautiful, or otherwise. Through it my entire life is mirrored, through it my thoughts, my anxieties, my joys, and my many faults have been captured for all time. It’s a unique, nerve racking, yet fulfilling thing, because you simply cannot run from that which is eternally captured and digested by others – out there forever unalterable. In my life I have lived with those who have been one thing at one time and, six months later, something else. It’s not something I can imagine the horror of enduring because I have never had to. But like anything, one must be empathetic to those who cannot go into certain proverbial rooms. I cannot imagine running, because I’ve never had to. Through mistakes and triumphs I have always had the same ground beneath my feet. In that, I know I am overwhelmingly fortunate. I can be alone only because it is always with me. A gift.
Get ready guys! This was the main reason I got my passport this summer. . .
Maybe it’s the coffin/The dirt on me. . .