Time, busy-ness, age, change and change and more change--these are some of the things I can point to, easy, that keep me from updating this space as regularly as I would like to. My intentions are good, but the days of this year have run over me, left me in the dust. Sometimes I'm in an all out sprint trying to catch up.
I'm going to try to visit this space much more often, and hold myself accountable to the act of typing some shit out if only for the sake of memory and release. Anyone I know will tell you that 2016 has been a strange and difficult year, but there it is and here we are. Surviving it. I came back to the states at the beginning of it in shards. Some of me so busted that they were smooshed to salt. Time did not seem to move. In February I ended up getting 8 stitches in my pinky from a bit of a freak accident at the gym. Aside from the scar, the things from that sticking with me: the calmness with which I asked the gym manager to call someone as blood poured in my palm and down my arm. The crustless pb&j the nurse offered me between numbing shots when I said I was hungry. The sobbing I did when the doctor pulled the stitches out. It was from pain but also circumstance, all of life coming to a head in that office with my hand in his, my desire to assure him it was much much worse than he thought or knew. I will always remember the careful way I pulled my lifting gloves on, the way I bandaged it after and managed to move weights with little finger out for weeks and weeks. And then I healed. Time did her thing.
For six months I worked cleaning houses. Little glimpses into the lives of people I never knew and would never really know--family portraits and toiletries and habits, good and bad. I scrubbed the sinks of dentist offices and dusted countless desks. I now own hoodies and pants stained with bleach. I moved on to a job with a guarantee of more hours and better pay. Things changed, again, as they are certain to do.
I write and get on stages again. This, another miracle. At one point it had been a solid year since I had stepped up to a microphone, and I felt every bit of this absence in my lungs and guts. My first time back was in Pittsburgh and I cried while reading a poem about my failed marriage. My second time was reading with friends I haven't read with in 15 years, and that felt like home. There weren't any tears. The moments are stacking up and I am letting them. I'm writing quite a bit now, and part of that stems from staying quiet for too long--the rest comes from this very real need to tell it now, as much of it as I can. All of it, even. Who else can tell our stories for us? What other voice is there? I posed the question when? And the answer is always now, and I'm sticking to that. It is up to me, and I have no room for fear in that. At first, writing again was difficult and determined my mood for the rest of the day(and sometimes the next). Heavy is heavy. I'm learning how to go there and then how to leave it without all the colors bleeding through to the rest. It is a mixture of practice and trust. A trust in self that I can return.
I rediscovered a great big chunk of my heart that never truly left, and it feels a little like miracle and very much like yes. Something that helped me remember who I am, at the core. Despite all the trajectories, possible veering, blocked paths--there is a matter-of-factness to where I happen to be currently. Things will change inevitably, and I'll do a bit of shifting with them. I have my frustrations, things that could certainly be easier. There are days when I am standing far from optimistic, but I work through it and return. Forward is the direction. Forgiveness is the method.