and i sighed just a little bit thinking about where my world has me. i am not the least bit unhappy in my life. instead, i am quiet. i am here. i am writing.
my voice comes out in my writing, in my thoughts as the wind tangles my hair as i ride, while i wander out to the garden, in the stillness of each morning and in the ease of letters and conversations with the kind of people who make you remember who you are. those moments that add up to a beautiful lifetime, making you occasionally feel selfish for wanting even more of this beauty for yourself.
i’ve not always had you all in my life. if anything has happened in the past year of my life, it’s that i have lost so much fear, and walked steadily towards the people who i know, somehow, will leave their mark on me. whether or not they stay or go or linger or burn away, i don’t think about that anymore. my world is about experience, and intimacy, and the way i feel after an interaction that catches my breath or a place out on a lonely road, beckoning for words or a quiet gaze. my journal holds no secrets, only truths of that particular moment.
it was the way i knew she would be my friend like no sister had been. it was how i laughed as the snowflakes covering my face on the ride home, past the stalled cars and down quiet streets, celebrating my good fortune. it was how we stopped in the streets to kiss that night, drunk from the wine and conversation and possibility. it was how she taught me, in her complete misunderstanding of love, that i didn’t need a mother to be the woman i wanted to be. it was how, in the light of the afternoon in the middle of barren countryside that i knew i deserved more than he was giving me and that i already lived a charmed life, right here amongst the roses, and i walked away. it was in the way i realized that, no matter how many days go by, i am still a girl who’s lost her father, yet also a woman who’s realized she’s somehow more for the experience. it was how, after a ramshackle year of job lost and job landed, there was nothing i’d rather do than create in my kitchen the things that could make someone’s eyes close. it was how i felt, finally, on the same surface as everyone else. it was how she knew that i was not the same having been her mama, and licked my hand while she lay there, unable to move. and it is that picture i have not yet captured on film, the one i look forward to seeing someday reflecting back at me this life.
and it was the way i knew myself, and forgave myself for all i’d done to get in my own way over the years, and let myself continue to dance, sing to myself as i curve down streets, feel my lips curl up in a smile, let myself be tangled and untangled with ease, cover my hands in chocolate and love the sweetness of you who give me this breath.
there are no words, but so many, that make me want to utter words of gratitude to those who have taught me lessons, knowingly or unknowingly shown me the way, held my hand and gave freely. you allow me to be courageous in ways i never could have imagined. you help me catch my breath and are my soft place. you celebrate with me and you reach out when, some days, i don’t know quite how to even lift my eyes to look up into yours.
But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859