“That which is and that which cannot be are both outside the realm of becoming,” writes Simone Weil.
We are sitting outdoors in the quickly waning summer heat. The candles keep blowing out. I want to get up and dance but everyone else around me is sitting down, so I try to forget that I want to get up and dance. This is how I’ve felt most of my life.
The thing about this time away from you is summed up by a line in my book: “I want to be somewhere more beautiful, I think, and also, everything is right.”
In other words, I’m wrecked, but I’m diving into the wreck. I’m embarrassed because we had to present a project at work and I accidentally shared my screen with some words I wrote about you:
“His eyes had an earth to them. Something blue. Something green.”
It could have been worse.
I keep waiting to hear from you but it’s good that I don’t. It is like how I feel about eating chocolate cake. We sat in a bar and you told me, “But breakups are beautiful, how often in life do we get to feel so deeply as we do when our hearts are broken?”
ok but how?
I am scared to let you kiss me, because I know you don’t mean it.
I mean, maybe you mean the kissing part, but only the physical part. I changed that sentence because I didn’t want to say the more obscene truth. I wish that when men touch me, they mean that they want to care about me. Instead it almost always means something else. J. is confused, “Well how does one get to see you then?” I laugh and respond, “It’s so easy. Ask me to dinner, for once.” Men in New York City hate asking women to dinner.
I don’t want to be kissed. Ok, I do. I love kissing. But I want someone to love me. They keep scoffing, “Just learn to love yourself,” and I want to say, I know, but it’s not the same, how can I make you see that it’s not the same? It doesn’t mean I need anyone. I know I don’t need anyone else, but.
Me, now I want tenderness, I want sincerity, I want nights and days filled with at least a little certainty. Some variation of it.
I’m aching for it because I realized that during the past three years I haven’t let anyone in. But how do you scale walls after you’ve built them so high that you can’t even let yourself out?
constructing walls: not so much to keep you out, but more to keep what’s left of me in.
Sometimes it takes not feeling like you can be yourself to know what being yourself feels like again.
You ask me if I’ve ever been pregnant, and I’m oddly sad about the answer.
I sit on the rooftop with beautiful women talking about astrology and Maggie Nelson which is really all I’ve talked about for two months. I don’t feel apologetic about it. Someone asks me what I blog about, and I say too quickly, “Love,” which is cathartic because I’ve rarely admitted before that that’s pretty much all I write about.
In Manhattan, the moon appears tiny next to the 9/11 tribute lights. My Instagram feed is like, lit up with this. (Yes punny).
I arrive in Queens on the N train, tears streaming silently down my face because I finished reading The Argonauts on the way home. Reading this book (and many others) is like how I feel in relationships, I’m so afraid of coming to the end that that’s all I can think about. So then, is rereading the answer?
I sometimes get so anxious about the ending that sometimes I don’t want to start the journey. But aptly someone sends me some Elizabeth Bishop: “Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?”
The moon has grown big now that I’m in my own neighborhood, looks enormous. The night is big, but I feel big enough for it.
Maggie Nelson talks about giving birth and a mother dying, simultaneously.
In other words, the end of everything and the future of a world. At that moment, my own mother is texting me photos of mooncakes in Taiwan. Happy Moon Festival next week, she writes from the other side of the planet.
I’m walking home, it’s dark, it’s New York City. Every day, I realize I’ve never felt so afraid, yet so safe, so sad and alive and happy in my life. I’m so lucky, I realize. My mother is alive and texting me, and what if I fall in love again?
I changed my mind. Even more so than “I love you,” I want someone to look at me and say, “I see you.”
each of the volunteers told me that my job was to let my mom know that it was ok to go. i believe that i was unconvincing for the first 33 hours of my time with her.
however on the last night, i put a pillow under her knees, and i told her i was going to take a walk. that i would smell honeysuckle and see fireflies, wet my shoes in midnight dew. i told her that i was going to do those things because i was going to stay on earth in this form. “but your work here is done mama.” i told her that she had set us all up very well with her love and her lessons. i told her she had inspired me to become an artist. i told her that i loved her so much, that we all knew that she loved us too, that she was surrounded in love, surrounded in light. i told her i was going to go to sleep, and she should too. i said it firmly. i told her to not be afraid, to relax, that it was ok if she had to go.