I write to you today as a doer of deeds. Some less ably than others, but all of them noble enough.
There was a list and I look around and I know that I worked hard with the time I was given. I did not throw it away heartlessly and blearily stare into my screen. I want to do that, and usually do. But I think that perhaps relaxing in the security of the middle distance would be more satisfying if I wasn’t too petrified to look around and see the odd, stilted creatures that make it their home. Not looking is not easing your eyes. Not looking squinches other muscles: the inner eye is lidless so there is considerable effort required to draw one’s self around it and blot out its sight.
I have been waiting for signs, omens, help, lighted walkways, arrows, marquee listings, maps and miracles to divine my way. I’ve been waiting for someone to walk first or walk with me or yank my wrist and pull me into the street. Now, I’ve been waiting to hear, it must be now! And every now and then, nowadays, I hear, it should have been then. It should have been and if it wasn’t, it won’t.
It is enough to make you stand stock-still, and let your eyes peel and turn, as if you’ll get that message you’ve been looking for and not risk getting hit by the everything that has already decided its time is now. This, I have come to believe, is only one philosophy. And the rightness or wrongness of it is only measured in whether or not you are satisfied with the standing and the seeing.
I am no longer satisfied with what I can see from this bed frame. From this hallway. From this solitary plot I happened to happen upon.
Those hopes to exist without risk, without presence or engagement, or bearing the weight of being the object in the lesson, they’re actually as unhelpful as a bathing suit in a blizzard. Because this isn’t that kind of life. As painful as the change thus far has been, it is not even the beginning of it.
So I realize now that the plans I used to make on my own, I need to make again. The closing around myself, swaddling myself with stillness, looking past what looks at me so that we don’t connect – there is no story there. The heroine has to look the villain right in the face and know his weakness and how to break it.
Today, I’ve done things I didn’t want to do. Made 30 phone calls to strangers who all had opinions of me that I will never know. I let the caffeine get to me and then drank some more. I exercised and tracked my food. I looked at myself in the mirror, sighed, and then used that body to load the dishwasher, to type this report, to flip the pages of a book that thrills me.
Tomorrow, I demand the same.
You didn’t love me and I will never know why.
Instead, I walk off the mark and love the trees budding a lime-bright green, the stem bent that bears a daffodil cup full of dew and honey, the air that lifts a seed up into the air and twirls it as far as it needs to go to find an open space to live as it was meant to live.