Saturday, January 25, 2014

grief is.

I started this post, grief is and couldn't find words. I laughed at first, but it's hard. A sad little knot in your stomach. It's hard when something you do doesn't come easy. It's hard when one of your things, your way to process and pull apart life and say, it's still good, still beautiful, feels foreign. Like realizing you were speaking gibberish and you thought it a language. That's where I'm at. Unsure. Hesitant. Tasting out words on my tongue and trying to remember if they're the same. I'm reading what I write and telling myself I can't delete the words. That to put something out there, anything, is better than nothing. That the first step to get through is to dive deep.

It's messy. I say that about everything. But life is messy. It's gory. It's gritty. It's unpredictable, in a laugh so hard you pee your pants and ache so hard you stay up all night weeping way. I read something on weeping the other day and it hit me right in the face. One of those pieces where you breathe a little deeper and shift in your skin and can't help but exhale a mmhmmm or amen. Because someone tapped into a raw place and pulled out something still beating. Someone put words to it, like touching a frosted glass with cold fingertips. Brushed the edge of something.

"Weeping is not the same thing as crying. It takes your whole body to weep, and when it’s over, you feel like you don’t have any bones left to hold you up." - Sarah Ockler

I had chills when the word weeping caught my eye and I was crying at the end. Maybe that sounds silly. But to be walking through long and lonely moments only to turn and find someone next to you, saying, I get it. That's a relief. That's what's so delightfully, deliciously, dearly human about us. That we are not alone.

Grief is a funny thing. It's unnerving, unsettling. I start to write a sentence and stop. I put up my camera and set it down. Everything is heavy. There's a weight we carry, unconsciously. Grief clings to our back with cold fingers and we hunch over to compensate. Curl up, close in. I need to apologize more, because I'm so doggone shaky. I'm sorry, I just feel so unsettled. I've said it more than I can count to one of my best girls. I'm sorry, I feel so uprooted.

The irony (coincidence? meaning?) of feeling uprooted when my 2014 word is seed isn't lost on me. What I'm trying to say is. I'm sorry that it takes me a week to reply. I'm sorry that I cry about stupid things. I'm sorry that I ask you what you think twice. I'm sorry that I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, especially now with that last sentence. I'm sorry I snapped at you.

It's just. I'm so tired. Of waiting and hoping. The hoping is what hurts the most. It's like carrying hot coals close to your chest because just a little further on, there's wood. That's what you believe, anyways. It's coming. But the journey, staggering forward and faltering's numbing. It's exhausting.

I feel sapped (2014 will be the year of plant metaphors). I feel heavy. I feel unhinged, in a quiet, curl up with a third cup of tea and cry it out way. I gained two pounds. I cut my hair. I picked up my camera again. I'm tired of writing when everything feels old. Winter is turning me into a hermit. I want to throw off the stale scent of indoors and last year and scrub everything clean. I want to strip back to the foundation and rebuild with good wood.

I'm waiting for this earth to unthaw enough to plant something new. I don't know. I don't know. My hands are shaking and my head is spinning and all I can think is, the days are lengthening. I make my coffee in the morning. I say yes to chai tea, even if the sugar makes my head buzz. I'm practicing being kind to myself.

Sometimes, it's enough. Right now, it's enough. Grief is. And maybe it's not grief anymore. It feels different, not quite so raw. Maybe the swelling has gone down and it's a sad, slow sorrow. Maybe it's an undercurrent, not the whole melody. The days are lengthening. Thank God it's not the end.

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