Thursday, June 28, 2012

Closer to Fine

I brought a palmfull of water to my face and let it drizzle where it may. My hands rubbed over my closed eyes and across my mouth for good measure. Sometimes I wish I was absorbent, where water would never run down my neck or drip onto my blouse. It would seep inside of my pores and...

I imagine the water droplets making passage into my skin, and like white blood cells they begin swirling through my being, fixing and protecting me. If that's actually what white blood cells do.

If I was absorbent it wouldn't matter what they did. The water would fix me.

But as my reflexes lead me to wipe my face dry of the water that hasn't run down my neck or dripped to my blouse, I know there's no easy way to fix me.

She keeps saying I remind her of herself when she was younger. I'm tempted to scoop more water to my face but stop, knowing this time I am no different than moments before. I am not absorbent.

I panic so much because if parallels are the way she claims, destiny has written me a widow who never had a mate that could die: an old maid.

That's what she says I am.

I have to stand up. This kneeling by the stream is killing me in more ways than physical taxation on my lower limbs.

I always thought the first male to be truly interested in me would be the one I wed, not due to a sinking feeling that no one else would come along and I better take what I was given, but that no one hitherto approached or acted as though he would. It gave me reason to believe the one with the strength and desire to stick around would be the only one in the universe. It was not a matter of succumbing to fate, but that of accepting that I would be a fly on the wall until someone came to pull me into the action.

It falls back to romantic comedies from a young child's perspective. It stems from Disney and true-love's first kiss and one-take love stories. I idealized it so with dolls that it has cemented itself as fact in the core of my heart. Someday my prince will come. And unlike my mother and the majority of females the country over, I would not require a list of 64 Mr Wrongs that marshaled with pointing lights to the prince. Mine would come when he came, and he would be the only one.

But soon I began to panic that those who have thus shown interest are those I am not...of want to wed. It suddenly occurred to me through my own clumsy way of handling romance that I would need at least a percentage of the 64 so I may cognate how to respond to the prince. But the seed I planted at a tender age has been nourished daily by each cycle of my blood, and now towers indefinitely in my foresight, obstructing all but the notion that he who comes first is him that remains. I've choked with the idea that I will end with a second-rate companion because I am doomed to be sealed to he who comes first.

This is not so, but I cannot uproot this false truth out of my being.

Try as I might I am not absorbent. Water will not fix me.

I slump beneath a tree, wishing the breeze would lift me up to that Virginia in the woods where I could write and muse and sing in peace. Where I would walk with wilderness and thrive under branches and canopies or green. Where I could do all I dream to do without the prying eyes and responsibilities that cascade around my failing body like a landmine of clutter, choking with each tendril that reaches my shaking frame.

But in the depths of my quest for solitude, I do not wish to be alone.

In my mind her voice echoes again, like a bitter cricket continually causing friction between his legs.

If I am her, I will be alone.

The thought drowns me more than being permanently siphoned to a man not fit my make. In reality, along would not be secluded in a forest glade with no concern of taxes or the obtaining of food. Alone would mean in public and in bed. Alone would mean being auntie to the merry spawn of my brothers who fulfilled their one true task as males by carrying on the family line; this would only serve as comforter if I was a carrier of hemophilia and knew b not mating I was sparing my children and theirs from the condition my blood most fears. Alone would mean a general shame to the girl of yesterday who only ever picture love, who made movie after movie in her imagination with her dolls apexed on the ideal of it.

Alone would not be an alone of peace and creative plundering of the mind.

Alone would be hell.

I find myself staggering to the stream, whether I will attempt another prayer of absorbency or merely submerge my head until the constable lifts me out by the hair, my spirit floating off to the only place alone means not alone, until I find I'm sen to a sort of purgatory where those who left before their allotted time are sent, with no husband to follow my acrylic painting landscape like a map to my resting place of despondency to drag me from it to his arms.

I suppose I have decided neither; my fingers curl around the bank but I neighter plunge them nor my body in.

The air breathes the tender word Patience, and I know it's right. It's the action potential of my mind that bring the panicking to pass. I will survive this the way I have health classes and airplane turbulence and learning of FGM. It's a matter of focusing my eyes, breathing at a fixed and concentrated rate, and pleading with the God above to spare me.

And as he has in those near-breaking moments and the moments I now fail to remember, he will lead me safely again.

I will not be her. I will not be alone.

Water will fix me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Never Go Back

There was something that made Maniac Magee run. I don't remember if he was running from or to something, or if it was the innate love of movement that fueled him.

I just remember him running. And his pizza allergy. And the theme of equality.

I stop and wrap my right pointing finger and thumb along the bead of my bracelet; the clasp where the initials JM are carved, where the wire of the band are coiled into one now ovular circle. I glare absently at the trees ahead.

I want to stop this. I want to crash off the path and be where I was before, or someplace new entirely, and I want to be content there. I want to want to stay there.

I want to built home again.

But even as I move the bracelet back and forth along my wrist, the particles of my arms being to boil, the sensation and temperature rising to my shoulders where my blood vessels must conjoin and weave to my life source because my heart erupts into panic and I can't stand here anymore.

I run.

And I don't know why.

It's different from those times I ran in the past, different from when Maniac first started running. Before there was pizza and question of equality.I've been unraveling thread as I've run; the farther I travel the tighter it pulls me back. It must be what triggers the boiling within me. It must be what urges me forward.

I stop again, my hand gripping a tree.

What pulls me onward is what tethers me back.

I wipe an agitated portion of my bangs from my forehead.

There was a day, when I was 12, when we went white water rafting. They debriefed us beforehand, specifically saying to lie on your back and plug your nose should you fall out of the raft. The life jacket would keep you moving down the river, but if you wanted to breath you'd have to get on your back to make it safely through.

We hit a giant rock at the portion of the rapids that were only three feet deep but very swift. I, along with all my raft-mates save two, was hurdled into the river. I felt my feet brush the riverbed. My knees were bent and my feet where touching hard ground. I tried three times to stand up.

It was infuriating to know I could reach the sturdy purchase of the rocks beneath me, and momentarily succeed in doing so, only to be swept away from freedom and breath. I was drowning in three-foot-deep water. I was dying where I should have survived.

My heart has reached that state of panicked frustration and I'm back to running. It's those rapids all over again: the moment I find structure and security it is wrangled from me, and I am left suffocating and overcome. But this time there is no hand pushing me to lie on my back, no voice telling me to plug my nose so I can stop struggling for air. All I have is a thread tethered to something in my past I'm determined to escape, but for whatever reason I tied the thread there in the first place. For whatever reason I want it to  keep me focused on what I'm desperately escaping. I, at some point before the running began, wanted to have a way back to this.

And as a result it's drowning me.

I die.

And I don't know why.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Living In The Moment

"Well I'm almost finally, finally, out of words." -Jason Mraz (You and I Both)

I've felt a lot of things lately that I haven't been able to pin down into a definitive statement. I know how they feel and what they mean, but it's a language of the soul that keeps speaking out. I can't put it into English, I can't craft it with letters. If I could grasp your hand and siphon the feeling to you, I very well would.

All I can do is toss literary darts in the general area of the target and hope to come out making sense.

I know the following statement to any blog reader of mine is redundant to say the least, but this is were it begins: I'm in a separate state of being when I listen to Jason Mraz. There's nostalgia and there's hope for Virginia to come around, but there is something else that makes it so...makes it so expedient and desirable that I remain there, in this state of being. I felt it irrepressibly tonight when Erin put my dated Mraz Mix in her car's CD drive, and it was such a presence that I felt I had to draw attention to it. So I said: "I always feel...more myself when I listen to him."

And though I've said this and thought this before, it took that moment to connect what Jason's music had lead my soul to experience for years to my recent moments of confidence. Moments that, looking back, happened as they did because I was acting more myself; I was showing up as me.

I haven't read the scriptures in some time. I've been desirous for personal revelation, but I haven't tried to track it down. But lately I can't help but feel that the Lord is guiding me to my answers in the way He knows I'll find it. It's the only place I've been looking.

Jason Mraz.

For the first time in my fandom I have fully connected with an album not because it was catchy or the lyrics made me think or I couldn't get over how phenomenal his scatting is; it's been because that's what I've needed to hear.

I've felt these things for so long, thought about them, almost understood them, but I couldn't put it into words what they meant. Jason did it for me:

"I'm letting myself off the hook for things I've done, I let the past go past. ...I'm letting go of the thoughts that do not make me strong. ...I can't walk through life facing backwards. I have tried, tried more than once to just make sure, and I was denied the future I'd been searching for. I turned around and hurt no more by living in the moment."

There has been much more that has struck me, but this seems to be the overbearing message of it all. This is why my life to this point has been so lackluster and passive and timid. I haven't seemed to "let go of what I know I don't know."

Life hasn't worked for me because I haven't shown up as me.

Today I did it, subconsciously. I showed up as me. And the lightness of my soul that accompanied that moment is the same breath Jason's music breathes into me.

I am more myself when I listen to him sing, but I'm actively striving to be myself even when the music's off.

"And I know I only do this by Living in the Moment."