Condemn

But where is the outrage? 

I am nauseated. Aching. Cringing and cramping from my guts to my scalp. 

What does love have to do with it? Respect me, feed me, accept me. You do not have to love me: this does not determine my right. I have a right to move about the world unfettered — just as much right as you. You will not succeed in cornering me, quartering me. You cannot detain me or push me within boundary lines of your own creation. The world is not yours. 

But where is the outrage?

My heart is breaking, broken. Shattered. 

I sip a latte with you. We sit in the winter sunshine and tell jokes. I want to cry. I crawl into bed with you, where we are warm and quiet. I want to cry. Drunkenly, I eat a green, cheesy dip with you. We are messy, loose and free in our motions. I want to cry. I come into work, and you bring in a crockpot of hearty soup to share. We sit around the table smiling over our bowls. I want to cry. 

Community, kinship, friendship, support. I have all of this, yet I feel broken and defeated. Imagine if I were alone. What would I feel then? I rise up with my pain on my shoulders. This is how you fight. The unbroken ones do not fight for the things. The things are unseen to them. 

Markers

“I’ll take a quiet life… and no alarms and no surprises”

It’s an easy life to believe in when I am sipping coffee watching the snow swirl. I could be someone, anywhere, living a life under any context. But that is not always the case.

I worked with a group of students last night who are riding a high horse of enlightenment. After spending a semester volunteering, adventuring, traveling, working and living together, they feel…empowered. They feel…as they put it: “aware, compassionate, empathetic, able to make change.”

They want me to reinforce how they feel, reassure them it will be okay, echo their sentiments, provide them with more opportunities to return to that high: I am a good person.

Instead I asked them, “why were you not this way before your experience?”

They looked at me a little aghast, turning my question round in their head, thinking–probably–what a stupid question. Their answer was of course, “we had to live it to learn it.”

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Vows and resistance

This is human nature. Am I defeated?

No. I remind myself to engage, endure. I fight my normal reaction to detach, to back-up. You have to stay here. You have to keep going.

I don’t know what it means to feel the way you do, but your feelings float about in my air and I breathe them in. They make me crazy. Make me feel…like I need to turn away from you. Why should I make sense of the chaos you create?

I open my news app in the morning. It’s kinda dark in the living room. There hasn’t been real sunshine in this neighborhood for days. The dining room light is on. I fall onto the couch and lean away from it.

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All tides

Write. “What sort of notebook? A cheap one, preferably. You don’t want to be too precious about it.”

I don’t want to be too precious about it.

It’s hard this week. I have cobby cobwebs in my brain. I need lots of quiet time to clear them out, time which I cannot seem to land upon. I know I should be attentive to the list I’ve made myself. Weeks of not working, and I have invoices to write to Australia, to Ireland. I have emails from England. I should…but I don’t. I stir at the coconut yogurt (surprisingly delightful). Maybe more coffee would help? I try  just to be. Be as still as you can, and then you will feel better. Stone-like.

To be. To do. To live. The space expands around my head and I feel myself wrapped up inside it. Unreachable. Insurmountable. The peak in the sky. Everyone else is a blur of the worldly. Doing as I cannot do. Yesterday, I caught the window leaking. Water pouring in from the rotting gutters. Like when I drove home to the broken garage door the night before. I am always uncovering broken things. And then, like the responsible one, I have to tell. I wish I could fix all the broken things. That would be faster, more efficient, and less talk-y. I do not know enough about the things to fix them when they are broken. I could learn.

I’ve stored a bunch in this brain of mine, but they seem always out of reach. Where did they go? What dusty file cabinets do I need to unearth? What has been the point of all these years, if none of the things are retrievable? Have I been failing all this time? Getting by on the present moment, rather than looking back for the things I was supposed to remember. I wish that were true.

I read an email. You’re the worst. What do you want from people? Probably the same thing I want from myself. Which is? I don’t know. It’s a feeling I have when it hits, when it’s right–to which words do not apply.

 

Horned lizard 

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” -F.Scott Fitzgerald 

I stood at Tumamoc and looked out over the city. Told it goodbye. You have no hold over me any more. You are not my city. I spent most of my life missing you, idolizing you, loving you from afar, and now I feel no connection. 

No pining. 

For once, I didn’t stand around thinking, “if only.” I stood around thinking, “finally.” 

I don’t belong here. This is not my place. 

And it feels so good. Like freedom. I will pursue what I want. What I want is not everything. What is joy? Better than love. 

Smiling and saying goodbye. You are not what you were. I am not how I thought. Being free and going back to Wisconsin with open arms. Is this how you love with open hands? This is how I feel. Our love is not the same.