quoting Uncle Walt again, as he’s got so many apt words for my life:
“Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you…”
Sometimes life tells you to grab hard, to push boundaries, to break chains, to speak those things that perhaps should not be spoken. Chase that with you fear. Run it down, wrestle it, acknowledge it and battle it. It doesn’t matter if you win, only that you live fully. I’ve been doing all of that, of late. Acutely aware of how short life is, I no longer hold my tongue, hold back my thoughts, my feelings, my love, my friendship. My being encounters other beings and we talk, we cry, we hug, we laugh, we raise our glasses in toasts, we walk together on life’s sidewalk, until we no longer walk together and go back to our alone paths, with our memories and our feelings having made the time richer.
My soul, my heart and my body needs these interactions, perhaps more now than ever. It’s worth taking the divergent path, pushing myself to the point of physical or emotional pain, or both. The other side of those experiences is more satisfying than perhaps having every room clean, or the rug vacuumed, or the sheets promptly changed on Saturday.
To have people in your life with whom you can be yourself, especially when you are a damaged, weird, “other” type, is so valuable. At least it is to me. The holiday season has already given me my gifts; the exchange of ideas, feelings, words, experiences, love, beauty.
I am so lucky to have people in my life who can deal with me, and love me as I am. As I ready to pick up my son and be the good Mom for the week, or as good as I can be, I look back on the past 48 hours and realize how many amazing and complex layers there are to my life, like the homemade phyllo I grew up making alongside my mother when we’d prepare dishes for the holidays. Rich, full of texture and flavor. Friends who understand when you need to scream. Who hold you up when you cannot stand. Who offer wise counsel. Who dance with you, who sing with you, who wring out every drop of life from the moments you spend together, because there may not be any others, and what you have is never enough. Friends who let you see their pain, who make you laugh so hard your stomach cramps. Reliving memories and making new discoveries. Breaking down barriers and putting yourself out there – no risk, no reward. Connecting and sharing with people you didn’t know well before, and finally opening yourself up and saying “Here. Here is who I am. Look. Show me who you are, I care. I hear you. I see you.”
I somehow feel not at all guilty for neglecting the housework the past few days. It will get done, as these things do. But life screamed at me to come out, and so I did. An exhausting but satisfying journey.