Tuesday, April 1, 2014

on showing up and breaking open.

Here's the thing, I am trying to show up for life.

I am trying to give voice to my days. Trying to break open, as Mary Oliver would say. But right now, my life is in a middle-ground. It's neither here nor there. It's like a perpetual winter stretching our bones thinner and thinner. I want the marrow and thick of life, and right now, I'm in a milk white, blue-veined moment.

Frankly, (how I love that onomatopoeia of a word), I'm exhausted.

Yesterday, I was sick and slept all day. It was the strangest sensation to watch an entire twenty fours slip by and to be an observer of my life and not a participant. Yesterday was a fog, a veiled face and an unassuming moment. I woke up at ten, perhaps I'll feel better at noon. Then it was a quarter to one and I was uncomfortable. I stood up and almost fell over. I went into another room and curled up on a chair. How are you feeling? Better, I said, when I really meant worse. Sickness does something to your head. Mine shook.

I went and laid down on the couch and when I woke up next, it was four. I wasn't sure where I was. I heard voices and couldn't place them to faces. I was going to do yoga this evening, I laughed and moaned and rolled over. When I looked at the clock next, it was almost seven. In a span of eight minutes, the light in the room went from butter yellow to deep blue shadows like the evening was a bruise heavy under the skin. My stomach hurt but my head felt better. I fell asleep again. Then it was eight and afterwards nine and I ate some raspberries, watched reruns in front of a spattering screen, and finished the day like I had started it, asleep.

This morning I woke up and felt better. Not perfect, but better.

Sidenote, isn't that the case with almost everything in life? I feel better, but not perfect. Digressing. And mulling.

Besides feeling better, I also felt panicked. It was irrational but the thought of missing twenty four hours of my life set me into a frenzy. Were those yellow minutes stretching to hold the sum of my Monday simply gone? When my aunt flew to New Zealand, she lost a day. She skipped it entirely. For the rest of her life, she will have a missing Tuesday. I know that time is relative and dates are a construct, but there's a missing twenty four hours in her life that she never held.

Twenty four hours.

Sometimes life is really hard. That's an understatement. Writing about it seems like trying to collect water by pouring it through a sieve. Everything runs through me and I wonder, where to begin? Or, why? What is the balance between over sharing and being honest, and is there a disconnect that lies with the two? What happens when you have nothing to write at all, or what you have to say is boring, underwhelming, inherently ordinary? What then?

Sometimes, it seems like too much. I'm inundated with things I need to say, words that crawl under my skin, moments that leave me open-handed, chasing wind. Other times, I am a dry well, scraped raw and emptied of everything. Then I say to life, pour into me, in all your beauty and pain and joy. That's when life asks, will you give back? And there lies the act of showing up. Morning and morning. Returning to the page. Returning to the camera. Returning to the road, to the pavement, to the poetry, to the music, to the rhythm of your life. So I do and we do and we hope to make something honest, something that matters, in our twenty four hours.

Because, goodness, I don't want to live my life asleep.

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