I begin writing one morning where it hurts. I worry I’m sick. Then I’m angry again about all of the things we are giving up. Then I set it aside because I feel small and too tired to finish, and this is what it said:
I am not a lot of anything lately. Rosy cheeked and punch drunk in the living room all alone. Is the point to be worn so thin we can see through ourselves to the other side?
I think about you in your living room and what the view might be like in your apartment that I have never seen. I think about calling you but don’t. I think about planting seeds, making bread, learning how to french braid, but don’t.
I’m not the only one that today, feels the longevity of this situation, like the clock has been reset. I’ve been somehow reminded how long this will last, even though nothing has changed.
Two days later, which is today, I reread these words and think about them for a very long time. I also listen, in an email, to a recording of another writer as she reads my own words back to me. They sounds so lovely in her mouth that I fall in love for forty-five seconds with the sounds of her voice.
My days are scattered and semi-sweet like those honey suckles we used mouth the stems of when we were children. Everything feels less complicated today. Perhaps because the sun is out and the sea glitters, and this morning I re-read an essay about the loneliest whale, and perhaps because for lunch I eat stale bread and goat cheese with my fingers and watch the dog stretch on the tile floor. Everything is reduced in these days, and today I am not upset about it.
Today there are two sailboats and I think about starting your letter. I grow onions in the windowsill and promise myself that tomorrow I will get back to the good work, tomorrow I will make something of myself. But, then again, maybe all of this undoing is just a different kind of making. And some of my lines from the other day still hold true, even when the world glitters. Perhaps it is a good thing to go threadbare. To change ones course. To become something and someone other than what we had planned.
I used to dream about going backward in time, before time taught me how to stay still. I wrote it down on a scrap of paper, that even though I had stopped lying I am not sure I have yet figured out how to live an honest life. Sometimes it feels like I am watching myself through the blur of a window. We are still here.
We are learning something even if some day the lesson feels lost on us.
4 Replies to “Still Here”
Do I have your permission still to republish your ineffable works of heart?
Mark Henderson, Founder & Chairman of The Board
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at this time I’d like to keep them just in one place as I have a publication pending, thank you xoxo
I love this. Thank you for sharing the honest and raw thoughts of this time so beautifully. Your phrase about hurting and feeling despair “even when the world glitters” resonates so deeply with me. I am currently struggling to remind myself that we can be sad and hopeful all at once…
It seems to be one of my great life lessons to learn that feelings often wear one another or live side by side, we are rarely ever just one thing. In fact, I just finished writing a novel in which this ended up being one of the principal beliefs. Thank you so much for reading.