This Peace

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Being calm has never suited me well. Or I have never suited myself to it. I am not sure which is true. I crave long stretches of time to myself and my oceans view. The world a place I do not care to be a part of, and still, I am pulled from this space stealing away only days at a time. Perhaps something in me knows, this peace won’t be mine forever.

I still think of the same things, of you, of her, of tide pools in Australia, about June. But they seem now like familiar places I drive by, fixtures outside the window as I pass. Nothing holds the same weight. Even when the dreams come, they don’t get in the car and ride alongside me like they used to. I know you, but I am not of you anymore.

During a different heartbreak in a different life in a different state where there was no ocean view, I remember telling someone that I don’t want to get over it. That my sadness meant we were still embroiled in something. Even if the link between us was the ache and the pain, it was still a link. I nurtured that pain for years afraid it too would one day leave me.

Sometimes the ocean is so bright I cannot look at it.
Even blueberries can be sour if you have them at the wrong time.

If someone asks me when else have you felt this way there is an afternoon that comes quickly to mind. I am in Bali and have been for weeks and have shed layers of self and skin and am in a small fishing village where I have to stay the night to catch a boat in the morning. I am alone as I always was in those weeks and I walk to find a small restaurant, sit, and order gado-gado because it is the only thing I order in a new place. And I am writing in my journal and sitting on a floor cushion. It is so hot that everything I am wearing clings to my body, but I have moved past that bothering me weeks before. There are two men sitting not far away and beside them, the place is empty, but it is a strange hour in the afternoon. They are having a smoke and I cannot understand a single word they are saying but the sound of their language has become so familiar to me in those weeks that I wrap myself up it in. When the woman brings me my food, she is beautiful and small and slight. I thank her. And I am struck by the overwhelming realization that I am in this moment, precisely the sort of person I always wanted to be. I have passed into a place of myself in which my projection and my actual being have aligned. And in that is the greatest sense of peace I had ever known, even so far from everything familiar.

In the morning I boarded a boat and crossed a dangerous straight of water and thought most certainly I was going to die. The boat rolled and rocked and I tried to imagine I was somewhere else. The ocean outside the windows was too bright, the floors too slick with water. The blueberries had gone sour and I could hardly even look at it.


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