i’ve always followed my heart. this time more than ever. and i’m on my way home. so here i go. running into the wild once more, love guiding me and filling me and sustaining me. love holding me up. love right there. a love like ours. my love. your love. this love this life, ours ours ours.
fear, anticipation, anxiety, excitement, dread, exhaustion, sadness, emptiness, complete and utter fulfilment, satisfaction.
the people i shared this year with made it all so worthwhile: the people i never expected to meet, never expected to feel so much for, people i never expected to be missing this soon. i’ve never known a life like this, it was only ever a dream. and it still feels just that way.
how can it have gone by so fast?
i’m balancing on a ridge between tears and disaster. i fear the fall, i fear the darkness [i can’t see below] i fear all the unknowingness of returning to a place i fought so desperately to leave. from a person i didn’t recognise, to become the me i am right now. the person i’ve been neglecting, trying to be something and someone i’m not. but this, this is me. and i owe it all to the unknown. to the places i find love, to the people i met.
the people the people the people.
those who made me think, made me question and develop my beliefs, nurture my own sense of self. those who undid me, who stripped away the nonsense and dug their way to the very core of who i am. those who came to know me by more than just my name and my hometown. those who watched me fall apart, who kept me close no matter how many times i tried to push them away. those who became the family i missed and longed for. those who took me in, walked through the flames beside me, ran towards the fear and fought me and my innate desire to shy away from the hurt and pain and aided in a sense of deliverance from all that ever held me back.
the people, those people, the love i have for you. the person i became because of you. the things that changed in spite of all the resistance to or simple unknowing of everything i truly needed.
i’m home i’m home i’m home.
it’s a strange feeling, knowing i’m going home, possibly on an impulsive decision [choosing the day i did]. but such is life, and everything is done for one reason,
i’m excited. there’s a glimpse of forgetting how it feels to be safely tucked up in bed in a house with the people who love me most in this entire universe. but then the memory comes flooding back and nostalgia fills me with anticipation.
i don’t know what will find me there, only time will tell, i guess. all i know is this adventure, this year, feels like a single day. it feels like one long day filled with elements and seasons and emotions and reasons for all the choices i seem to have made so impetuously,
and so perfectly.
i’ve lost, i’ve found, i’ve fallen, i’ve prevailed. i’ve felt, so very deeply. i’ve cried, i’ve loathed and loved and laughed until i hiccuped. i’ve seen things that have moved me in a way i never thought those things ever could. i’ve found people who reminded me of people i already knew. i’ve found people who have changed my life, or at least changed moments in my life, changed my thinking, changed the way i look at and into myself.
i’ve found people.
and, so far, that seems to be the most profound realisation of them all.
the impermanence of place. the joy and the sadness in moving, in leaving. the honouring of the journey. all these events are intensified and cemented as purposeful and necessary by the people i’ve found along the way. the memory of a voice, or a face, or a mannerism that would catch me by surprise. and the ultimate awareness that really, we’re all the same. in this big, glorious world, we are one.
i’ma livin’ legend dall, and i ain’t afraid t tell ya, he said with vigour and pride through long teeth behind thin lips under a white moustache, in a permanent smile, none of which moved as he spoke. he reclined back into a bench that overlooked new jersey’s barnegat bay, shrouded in grey, folded his arms across his big, round belly and stretched out his legs. ya knaw, i reinvenned maself faw times. ya can’t be afraid to do that in yaw life.
he told me all the ways he’s changed.
i nodded my head in absolute agreement, knowing how much i’ve changed and do change, time and time and time again.
so traavellin huh… what’re ya searchin to find? he was really opening it all up now.
he stood, pushed himself up, his hands on his knees, and moved slowly, determinedly, towards the water. he bent over and pulled on a yellow rope and drew up a crab trap. nothing but ribs [yes ribs] for bait occupied the space, he laughed. jahnny didn have any chicken faw us tday. he lifted the cage to my face then threw it back into barnegat bay.
today i met this man, coastline charlie, with his wispy, grey hair, specs that made his eyes goggle and a jersey accent that’ll last for years in my memory.
i never really got it.
i’m on a train from montreal to new york city. we’re travelling through the adirondacks. and i’m kicking myself because all i want to do is write, but i look out the window instead and want to look out the window but write instead. it’s an unnervingly beautiful paradox i find myself caught within. the train sounds.
graaaaaap. graaap graaap graaaaaaaaaaap.
i don’t want to get off this train. i don’t want to arrive. i am happy and comfortable and still, for now. i know the next few weeks won’t stop. i know i’ll be all tied up in the bustle and the busy days and the getting from here to there.
but how exciting that will be! nights of four-hour sleep, stiff muscles from cramped spaces, new city smells and faces, the change in the air, in the everywhere.
and i’m not headed for anywhere, just riding minute by minute today and here and now on this train with the shaking and the moving and the graap graap graaping and the sweet simple thoughts of one day in montreal and kissing a boy, just a stranger just before.
i’m not wishing this to end, i’ll happily stay aboard until it stops. and every second i fall more in love with each second floating by and it comes in one big perfect wave of everything that starts from one small blood-red drop in the oceans of our hearts.
i dive into the lake. a snow-capped mount hood stands majestically, she doesn’t even notice me here. underwater now, i’m taken by surprise as i open my mouth and taste clean, bland, fresh water. you’re not by the ocean anymore! it shouts all over my tastebuds. it’s cold and goosebumps send chills through my blood, beating warm just minutes before.
this doesn’t look real, i tell her later, it’s as if i’m dead and dreaming. it’s as if this all rose up from my imagination, creating a scene from scenes unseen and seen before. but, really, it’s incredible.
i’ve never known anything like it. and everyday challenges that, and everyday i say the same. everyday i feel the difference. i wonder if that would ever end.
we leave and take the old, snaking road back to the valley. i sit in the doorframe of the car as it winds through tall trees, so dense, that smell like the earth, open air and christmas. the wind hits me hard in my smiling face and dries my gums. i laugh and breathe so deeply. oh, this is living. yep, this is living well.