I’m reading and reading and this book is so good it fills me up and the new words, my own words, burble up inside of me and just want to be let out but I don’t know how to say what’s inside and I don’t know what it all means and I don’t have anyone to share it with.
And so I’m here, rambling again. Hoping someone will read it who understands.
I want to write about what it’s like to feel grief and love swirl inside you like they’re twisting into a black hole, a yin and yang, both forming me and devouring me all at the same time. I am emptiness and fullness, I am nothing and everything. Broken and whole. The potential for light and the crushing weight of dark swirling through me until I feel like I’m going to burst with the tension of it all.
I want to write about how, most of the time, it’s not like that. Most of the time it is silence and nothing. Most of the time it’s like padding down the stairs and hunching over a stool in the kitchen because your mother made you and trying to make cookies but the dough’s too thick and your limbs feel tired, oh so tired, because you’re oh just so sad, and the cookies go in the oven and you just want to lay your head down on your arms on the counter but you feel like if you do so you’ll be too tired to get back up… but I do it anyway and my arms and hair curtain me from the world and I’m crying. And my mother is there and I am not alone but feel completely alone.
I want to write about how the air outside is thick and warm and blowing. The best kind of wind, we agreed once upon a time. The wind before a thunderstorm. And I just want it to rain so I can sit in it and get soaked, just so that I can feel something again, just so I can pull myself away from my blanket tassels and book worlds and grey mornings spent hiding from the world and feel cold raindrops on my skin and be here, because I am never here anymore.
I want to write about the callouses on my fingers, how I like to push myself and push myself, climb higher and harder and longer, because sometimes it makes me happy, and even when it doesn’t make me happy at least it makes me present, and when it doesn’t make me happy and doesn’t make me present at least it gives me the gift of seeing you again. And I can’t say how much that hurts and how much I need it.
I want to write about texts from friends and staring at the screen and not wanting to respond and not knowing how to say oh I’m fine, but not actually, just really really sad and so end up saying I’m chugging along or just end up saying nothing at all. Just wanting to talk to you instead and knowing that I can’t and why? Feeling like it’s not fair and it’s not okay and I don’t know how to fix it and just wishing on some horrible fundamental level that everyone would just shut up and stop telling me ‘everything’s going to be okay’ because how do you know? how can you look at my pain, no matter how ridiculous or inexplicable, and tell me that everything’s going to be okay? what does ‘okay’ mean? deep down I know they’re right, but it doesn’t mean I have to understand it. It doesn’t mean it feels right, in the moment.
I want to write about how beauty hurts even as I want to delight in it. I want to write about how when my brain wants to remember, I say ‘Stop, stay here.’ And even when I do stay here, stay present, my heart isn’t here at all. I want to write about how good memories hurt, because I’m not happy, and I’ve lost what made me happy, and how bad memories hurt, because they remind me of all the sad heavy things I carry around with me every day. And so I don’t remember, but feel like a cracked open walnut shell, dry and crunchy and brown, because without my memories, my feelings, who am I? But sometimes I can’t help but remember, and somehow that makes me feel better and worse at the same time, not empty but very far from whole.
I want to write about drawing when I don’t know how to write what I feel. About twisted trees like Baobabs in The Little Prince, taking over a black hole planet. About a girl on a black pebble beach, knees drawn up to her chest, looking out over a gray sky and a sun coming up over the ocean, not knowing whether it is a sunrise or a sunset. About a girl and a boy, sitting up on a tree house platform, leaning on each other, heads resting on shoulders, looking up at the stars and the moon, while a dreamcatcher spins from a branch below. About two vines, twisting up my forearm, entwined around each other like a double helix, one green and leafing, the other dried up with broken stalks, its glory fallen away. Yet still, entwined.
I want to write about how, when I feel like it should be shriveling up and dying away, my love for you has only gotten deeper, if stranger and heavier. I want to write about how hurt doesn’t push me away from you, but makes me want to draw closer. I want to write about how I shouldn’t believe in second chances anymore, but I pray for one anyway. I want to write about how losing the one thing I wanted to hold onto forever made me feel like I lost my whole universe. I want to write about why I keep going every day, why my heart can’t seem to give up on you, but I can’t, because I don’t know if I really know why myself. I only know that it’s true, and it’s not something I can choose. I wouldn’t want to make a different choice anyway.
I want to write about all these things, and more. But I don’t know how. So I try poetry, and I try drawing, and I carve things and climb things, and tell myself stories when I can’t fall asleep, of a brown wooden bird coming to life and flying me to a land where people are allowed to love each other. I imagine saying to you all the things I wish I could say to you right now. But I guess, in a way, I did write about them, just now. If only it could ever be enough. If only words could make everything sad untrue, and every love real again, something I can hold and never let go.