I wish I knew more, but I don’t.
The only lesson that really seems to teach is time.
Everything you could learn comes in time. Time, rolling over you, the minutes or hours or days or decades crashing like waves we’re only occasionally sober enough to feel. Mindful enough to feel. But there’s always salt in our eyes.
I spent this morning reading articles, beautiful pieces about the Pope, a love letter from a dying woman to her husband, another on authenticity in voice. The Pope was accused of “compassion over doctrine,” possibly the silliest accusation I’ve heard. I’m not Catholic. I frequently cohabitate with someone with a Catholic heart. I’m learning quite a bit. The piece by the dying woman was devoid of self-pity. It spilled over with love, deep love, abiding love, the kind you’d write a piece about. The kind that makes you want to stay here longer.
There are two lines, quotes, one from a movie and one from a play, that I use often. The first is from Elizabethtown, a silly romcom guilty of a multitude of sins not limited to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope and sentimentality. It is also one of my favorite films. Susan Sarandon’s character, the mother to Orlando Bloom’s, tells him, “all forward motion counts.” He later goes on a road trip by himself. I’m not sure if forward is always geographic, but I can tell you from experience it does feel an awful lot like you’re going somewhere.
The second is from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Prior Walter, dying from AIDS and being haunted in a fashion by an Angel, is taken to Heaven to plead on behalf of the angels. He does not however. Rather he asks on the part of humanity for a blessing. A blessing being more life. “And I bless you: More Life.” Mankind, zealous to continue, though a body pumps polluted blood, though God is nowhere to be found, asks for more. The great forward motion, more life.
Monday night, Jake and I had what I believe constitutes a first fight. There were raised voices, long silences, and a disparity in communication. The next morning, lord we were up late, my eyes and chest were clear as the sky. I wish I could tell you what we fought about. Miraculously, I woke with nothing left to say. A small miracle. A good thing.
Thursday, or was it Friday, he accused me of posting two “weaksauce” blogs back to back. He isn’t wrong. This is the meat of the thing I’m trying to tell you, feed you. I did a poetry reading Wednesday night. I’m going to share all of those pieces with you, a dump of content with hardly a form. I’m recalibrating. That requires a heavy pendulum swing from not enough to too much. I’m not certain we’ll ever reach the middle. Which is fine, because the middle of a pendulum is dead space. Objects in motion stay in motion. Heaven help us, these are the laws.
I’m resisting the temptation to recite my week to you. I don’t want to seem young, or inexperienced, or dumb. But I am any two of those at anytime. I’m not traveling anymore. It isn’t enough to write the experience. I’m not moving fast enough. So now I want to, have to, write the things that I save in my Notes on my phone, telling myself, “one day this or that”. Share the actual writing. Which isn’t to say everything up till now hasn’t been real, only the locus of control (focus intent) has shifted.
This is a challenge to myself. Write the thing. The damn thing. The things that scares you, the things that might be pieces, that might be submittable, that might that might.
I keep saying it. If I say it, eventually it must manifest. This can take years. This time, days. Hold me accountable. It’s on the internet now, right? You’ve read it, right?
Now, a moment. If you’d told me I’d be wearing boots and a flannel, sitting in the cabin of a truck while a cute boy put air in the tires, sun light on his face on my face in the middle of March, I’d tell you I’d never left Texas. If you’d told me this same cute boy took me to a Sunday matinee of Logan with his big, loud family, I’d tell you I’d never left Texas. If you’d told me my 25th year would feel an awful lot like home, only if I never left Texas.
This, here, must a good place to push. This, here, is a good place to fall. I already know. Time taught me that. This, here, is a good place for a blessing, more life. I’d like to read something beautiful. I’d like to share it with you if I do. I’d like to share with you my beautiful things, but include the grotesque parts, the malformed. Here goes nothing. The recalibration. The next thing, though not necessarily the new.
I love you. I miss you. I hope to see you soon.