you are not alone | 9 feb 2020

It is cold here, and wet. The weather dips into warmth for an hour, a part of a day — and then returns. The winds bring in clouds that sweep onto the tops of the fir branches and feather the hemlock, if you stand near the river where the tall buildings hover like spacecraft docking awhile, the wind blows up your skirt and into your throat where the scarf gaps.

You spend little time by yourself and what there is, aches. Every minute reminds you of minutes gone by that you did not mourn enough the losses, the deficits. You know this: you are not alone. Still you dip deep, into the darkness of what was, because it is what could be.Your children who spend every night breathing and turning over in their beds, creaking through the walls into your room; you hold onto this feeling with desperation born of knowing what it feels like to hear nothing.

“Write a new chapter,” says a man you love. You love him so much that you have stopped writing stories of love.You no longer need to tell yourself to make it true. You have written mantras you once said every day as your stomach rotted, tying itself with fear that you were saying lies.

What is truth, but something we believe in?

You believe in something new. You who have become so accustomed to reaching out with your whole consciousness to reach out to someone who is straining to run away: you do not have to spend your consciousness that way. “Stop chasing. Hold out your hand,” you wrote in the poem. It should have been, “Stop chasing. Be the one who is found.”

You were found, found so well you tried gently to bat away the second pair of hands that came searching in your hiding place, the hole where you thought you were protected from exposure, to newness, to change, to the expansion of love.

“I want to be the embodiment of love,” she says to you. You realize you need new stories still.

Still you feel alone — alone in the time of your life, alone in who you are in the company of two people who love each other very, very much. Who love you.

Opening to new love at 46 is the greatest pain of all, the stretch of the muscles as if you are soon to give birth: all is hard bellies and pain, discomfort, not knowing when relief will come. Knowing even relief will come with its own pain.

So you push, of course. You push the things away that hurt you. What is hurting is your fear.

You dream of being given a case of pastels, in many many browns and many greens and little green-blues and yellow-browns and maybe yellow-whites and pinks. One of the mossy greens is missing. One of the browns, too. You know you need this for healing, for protection. Why did the women — the ones you immediately trust, “crones” you might call them, but they are beautiful and compassionate and strong — lose these crucial colors?

You go off in search of them, perhaps, you move in on yourself. Your heart crumples. You sink into sadness as if it is a bathtub and the water is hot and you have been cold, so cold.

It has been cold, here, and wet. You draw your world in greens and browns with the startling grey-blue and the pink of spring to come. You fall in love; you fall in love; you fear love so much.

But you are not alone.

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