“It was like I left a portal open,” I explained, holding up my hand and forming a circle with my fingers meeting my thumb, and drawing it upward. My hand hovered over the crown of my head, as I continued to expand on my theory. As usual, Seth feigned attentiveness.
“Like I’d allowed an open-door policy for his energy to enter, wander, and linger inside my mind. I’d come across a photo every couple of years, and it would still make my heart stop. It was as if the wound was still open, though not nearly as immense or painful, it still hadn’t healed after all those years.
Over time it grew smaller, and I grew stronger, and eventually it scared over. Time really does heal. And even though I wasn’t necessarily cognizant of the process, it seems to be proof that our bodies, our wounds, our souls will heal if we allow ourselves time and give ourselves permission to go through it.”
Just like that, during the course of our conversation, I realized I no longer carried my greatest heartbreak with me. I’d laid it down somewhere along my path, and I hadn’t noticed the moment its weight evaporated. It’s fascinating to look back on loving that deeply, remembering the agony of thinking I’d die from the unbearable sorrow, and to have come out better for it on the other side. Given enough time and distance, we are designed for such magnificent resilience.
I want to thank you,
Whose name is…
For being the catalyst
I couldn’t have
onto this ledge
I wouldn’t have
Had it not been
holding my hand
I’d break the surface
or it’s late,
who you ask.
the damn dogs
Found this amongst the remnants of my past: a letter to someone I once loved deeply, written when I realized it was time to let go. It broke my heart all over again to know I couldn’t maintain a connection to him and move forward with my life, but that dull ache was nothing compared to the agony when he’d ask me to leave my current life and marry him, or his confession that I was the only regret he had in life: he should never have let me go.
Love–that magical, mystical, often inexplicable connection we have to other human beings, whether family, friends, lovers–is, in the end, the only thing that matters during our brief time on this planet. I am blessed to have loved deeply on numerous occasions.
This is a letter to one of the ones who will remain as much a part of me as the marrow in my bones. I’d take the pain of loving passionately followed by the agony of wishing-I-could-die heartache a thousand times over, rather than a life of so-so.
I maintain this fantasy that you’re a tangible part of my life, but it’s not reality. It isn’t healthy for me to put so much stock in hoping to hear from you, and wanting there to be a real chance to see you in the near future. And dreaming that we’re going to run away together: I can be a photographer/ writer while you trap food for dinner. Ridiculous!
You are the love of my life, R.H. I’ll never be able to let go of you if we continue to communicate.
I want to share things with you, and it became obvious last week when I attempted to do so, that I am not a real part of your life. And I understand.
I had this sudden flash in the middle of my other writing this evening- as so often happens when I delve into my memory, one popped up of you. Two actually (one usually leads to another…): the night we made love in Wapiti as the full moon rose over the mountain and washed the valley and our room in its blue glow (on my list of the most romantic moments in my life). And, the time you sent toast through airport security because my breakfast wasn’t ready when I was called to board (one of the many moments I fell in love with you).
And, then all the times I looked at you and knew you didn’t love me the way I loved you. I’m afraid that truth remains painfully obvious. As much as I tell myself time has healed that wound, the scar continues to ache on occasion. Which, in turn, makes me feel pathetic. (I’m not looking for continual penance on your part, just acknowledging to myself that some things in life may never heal) I still love so many things about you: your kindness, and tenderness, your voice, your laugh, your sense of humor, your ridiculous gas. But, I’m in love with you in my memory.
I’m fine, I’m thriving, but I can’t walk this fine line between loving you and living my current life.
I’m writing to say goodbye.
I wish you love, and happiness, and health, and prosperity. You deserve it. Be good to yourself, and kind to those who are in your life (Especially [name extracted]. Perhaps you can mend your relationship. She needs your love and support right now, and maybe you’ll find a way to feel what you once had together. Give it an honest try.) Life is hard, R. Don’t chase off the people who love you.
Yours. Then, Now, Always.
It’s like I’m dreaming,
this is so cliché:
sitting in a coffee shop,
a helluva stout
shot of espresso,
listening to the hum of
academics droning on
about the French Revolution
Florence + The Machine
before the dawn.
Shake it out,
shake it out.”
I’ve set up camp in camp.
Clearly, I’ll be dredging up a poem.
I can’t be trusted alone
with myself today.
I can’t take being in my skin,
Even as I’m sloughing it off.
holding back tears
this tidal wave of
I’m casting off, and casting off, and casting for answers
to questions I’m afraid ask.
He gave me permission to feel things
Naturally, I bolted for the door
the shear agony
my universe expanding.
Sit with this.
I’m going back to Yoga School tomorrow. Or, Teacher Training, as they call it. I’m as nervous as a kid about to enter her freshman year of high school. I’ve washed my mat and mat bag, and am laying out all that I’ll carry in my backpack: pens, notebook, required reading material, towels, change of clothes, muscle rub, tylenol, ibuprofen, naproxen, lortab, pot. (The last six weren’t on the suggested items list, but I’m a special case.)
I’ve picked out my back-to-yoga-school outfit. Just have to decide how to wear my hair. It’ll likely be swept up in that messy ponytail knot balanced precariously on top of my head.
I am a Yoga School drop out. There, I said it.
I dropped out last January when I got sick with what has been diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder. It has wreaked havoc on my body, especially my joints. Since returning to yoga in June I’ve managed to get to class sporadically at best. I’m plagued by debilitating pain, fatigue, and depression: a trifecta of excuses I use to spend most days firmly anchored to my couch.
And I’m fat.
I’m not obese, just a bit softer and curvier than usual. I am not looking to pick a fight with body image enthusiasts, and realize size doesn’t translate to agility, flexibility, or ability. But, my current weight is uncomfortable for my 5’4” frame and limits my yogic mobility. It certainly doesn’t help the pressure on my joints. I weigh somewhere between 150-155 pounds, when ideally I should be 125-130.
I refuse to buy larger clothes, I’m convinced that my ass has ceased expanding and will magically begin to melt away as I embark on this latest new beginning. My wardrobe has been reduced to yoga pants anyway- I’m giving spandex a run for its money- might as well put them to work fulfilling their sweaty-butt destiny.
The upside is my fantastic bosom: glorious mammaries that tip the scales at au-natural 36Ds, and nearly smother me when I’m upside down in shoulder stand. Those ladies are the only part of being chubby that I’m going to miss.
How I long for the days when smoking kept me thin, and drinking made me funny…
I wish I had it in me-the drive and the energy- to stumble down the familiar path to self-destruction. I was so good at it. I wish I could indulge in all the carnal pleasures of my youth. I miss smoking cigarettes. I miss the days when I didn’t think “constipation” every time I looked at cheese. I wish I still had the discipline for an eating disorder or wasn’t so afraid of needles, I’m positive I would’ve made a great heroin addict.
But, I’m no longer in this game to run from my pain, or increase it so blatantly exponentially. These days Pain and I do a different type of dance. We’re no longer partners in crime, more like predator and prey. One of us has to come out on top, there’s always a winner and a loser. I prefer to grab it before it can overtake me, poke it in the eye, hog tie it, and toss it in the fire.
Yoga school is pain in a different way, although it is still physical and mental. It’s terrifying to face my limitations, and the reality that this may be as good as I ever get. The worst part is that I know exactly what I’m getting in to, because I was there last year: tomorrow morning will begin with over two hours of Primary Series. We’ll be sweat-soaked from head to toe when it’s all over. I think that’s where my nervousness sets in, knowing what’s in store.
It’s a lot like I’ll be attempting to run a marathon, when I haven’t been able to walk in months. If it doesn’t kill me, it will at least make me so sore that I’ll tremble when we go through it all again on Sunday, if I’m even able to do it at all.
Here’s why I’m going to show up anyway: I don’t have a choice. This is one of my primary tethers to life, and to maintaining my stride in managing my disease and my depression. It is a part of my self-imposed, tried, and proven treatment plan. I have to eat right, get enough sleep, do yoga, have sex often, partake in creative pursuits, read great books, write, ride my bike, lay in my hammock, take photographs, stay connected to family and friends, and take in as much art and beauty as I can. I need all of these cogs in place to keep the wheels of my life and my brain moving in the right direction.
Now the ways I hurt myself- like a plunge into the deep end of yoga- have the potential to heal rather than harm me in the long run. I plan to take it easy, not overdo it right out of the gate- I am a wise and experienced mare now and have learned to pace myself so I can stay in the race.
Otherwise I don’t have a force field big enough or strong enough to keep the monsters at bay. I cannot spend any more time in the dark belly of that whale. I’m my own lighthouse watchwoman. I have to stoke the light at the end of the tunnel, or I’ll run my ship aground, smash it into the rocks, or sink it in my dark treacherous waters.
Yoga is a key component to keeping my tiny boat afloat when the seas get stormy. It’s all about balance, baby.