They Are The Prettiest Things
I have felt such a peculiar energy recently. Restless, insatiable, intolerable energy. Last weekend I bounced around from activity to event with the boys, trying to get it out of my system. It hasn’t necessarily felt good. It’s been difficult and uncomfortable, preventing focus and progress, causing me to avoid writing, to avoid any organized kind of thought.
Last night I tried to work it out with many happy culinary projects. An old-fashioned marmalade using boiled lemon seeds for pectin, the last pickles from the garden harvest, and some cured meat creations. As I stirred and stirred the marmalade, drinking wine, waiting, I heard the musical popping of the pickle jars sealing. I love that sound. I thought about all these projects with their exciting, unpredictable elements—just enough enzyme here, some osmosis there, just the right amount of heat. Pressure. And time. Precious time.
This morning, as I sat in the same little spot on my sofa where I sit everyday before dawn and think, I felt something of my own settling. A hollow pop. Something gelled. No wonder I feel so restless. I realize today that my new life seems much less new, and my old life seems much less real. Reality is very much now, and I have reached a certain resolve. I know what I believe, but I don’t know what is possible. I wrote that sentence last weekend, and felt frustrated. It felt like a defeat, like what is possible ought to be within the realm of what we believe. But this morning, it feels just fine. This may be the truest admission yet that what effects me most now is not the past, and not even what it has done to me, but where I will go next.
And that is fantastic.
All this wondering, questioning, and worrying. All this waiting, pressure, and time. Maybe it has come to something. Maybe I am ready, and that is this energy that has been bubbling.
Today, the past year seems so strange to me, like a horrible dream. But instead of waking up and reminding myself it’s just a dream, I have to remind myself that it was real. That it all truly happened, that I lived it, survived it inside of every moment, every word. I keep all the memories out of the way somewhere, recalling them mostly by choice now. There are still some that come to sour me, without my consent, but even then, I keep them at arm’s length, like watching a movie. I have an almost omniscient perspective. It feels odd and objective, when it is really very much my life. I am both thankful and disturbed by it, every time.
Come to think of it, I don’t even know how to tell a story of the past. I have no idea how to start, no idea how to illustrate its intricacy meaningfully. It’s all pictures, smells, and songs. Pieces. Ingredients? Seeds? Salt? Rind? The only thing I seem to know is now. All I seem to have is now, and what I have learned. What I have made.
In the last year, I have uncovered so many traumas, and as if blind I took each one of them, and held it in my hands, turning it over and over. Feeling it’s shape and texture. Describing it to myself. Describing why, and what it does. In the last three weeks, under quilts and cups of tea I have sat, in the same spot on my sofa with the brilliant light of winter coming from the warmer light of fall. Even the trees off of my deck have complied with this thinking, working their way into the therapy, as if it were prescribed by destiny for us to sit together, curing. Healing.
What I lay on the table before me now are acknowledgements. So many that started as questions, regrets, or accusations against myself. So many born from fear, and myth. I look at them now and they are the prettiest things. I haven’t many ideas yet what to do with them. But is that not the most heartfelt type of collection? The things you keep because you can’t help it, the whole meaning of them mattering less than the fact of how they make you feel? How insane and amazing, that many of these acknowledgements are not beautiful, and there is sadness among them, but their sitting there in my plain sight is such a perfect triumph. That the truth is painful and un-scenic and realized, and I am grateful all the same.
I am exhilarated, but surprised at this prospect of progress. I didn’t expect to feel better yet, what with so much work left to do. With so many logistical details of the past still holding me in their clutches. Still, I am overwhelmed at what I have accomplished. And I know what I believe. About what has happened, about myself, both my gifts and my shortcomings. About the ways I’ve worn on people, and the ways I have made them better. About what is right, honest, and whole. About the delicious things I have made. There is not a person, plant, or beast who can convince me otherwise.
Holy shit. Ready. Set. What if I am okay? What if today, and from now on, I can just go, and go?