There is a heavy fog bank rolling and it will change the cadence of the day. Pearly blue mornings are something to be cherished, taken slow, and held in the palm of your hand. I go down to the water with the dog early in the morning, before others arrive, and we play fetch and hunt for seashells. I hold one out to show him and then tuck it inside the pocket of my sweatpants.
From here, I can see the line in the water shifting from blue to grey as the fog moves toward us. Then a line of birds. Then a line in the sand.
I have been working hard at a few things. It feels silly to list them out like a title promise, so I won’t. But, I will tell you that I am working hard at understanding my own personal affliction, so I might be able to better mitigate my response to life.
I tell my boyfriend, my fiancé, the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with, that I wish he had known me before. That my real friends would never describe me as anything less that free wheeling and carefree. He laughs a little and we keep on driving. I tell one of my oldest friends this, and she says, I wonder what happened.
I read an essay in which the author talks accurately of his dissociative disorder as an inability to be where he is. This makes sense to me. I listen to a youtube video of a therapist talking about somatic healing and how our body will signal to the brain it is being threatened, even when it is not, if we have been unable to switch out of fight or flight mode. This also makes sense to me. I read about obsessive thinking, nervous disorders, and then re-read The Bell Jar. My sister thinks I should medicate. My boyfriend thinks I should meditate. A friend tells me to move into it. Another one tells me to stay still and listen. All of this sounds right, and none of it feels right.
Lately, I wonder if the blue of this place is responsible for my state. That all of this blue all of the time has anchored within me an intense longing for something I cannot name, and likely already have. The blue of longing. The blue of distance. I read these ideas from Rebecca Solnit religiously because this makes the most sense to me.
The fog arrives obscuring the horizon. I get up and go inside but by the time I sit down again to write, I do not remember what I wanted to say.
But I know you understand this about me; that this affliction is the very thing that makes me, me. In a writing exercise, we are asked to choose a writer and identify in their body of work: what is their ore? What is the thing that runs through all of their work like veins? What is their big question? Or best stated, what is their affliction from which they grapple with life?
It is only when I turn this exercise on myself while compiling a book of prose poetry, that I am asked to settle the debt. That, or it’s all the blue around here.