I am sitting, surrounded on three sides by windows overlooking a western desert on the fringes of Nevada. Thin slatted blinds of white wood crease the view from these panes, horizontal bars of domestic confinement, and I find myself squinting to see through them, blurring edges until they waver and vanish like skeletal mirages. I’ve a long road ahead, and at times I feel the full weight of it pressing me as flat and colorless as those blinds. It feels the only things keeping me from vanishing completely are possibility and the knowledge that I am enough… for myself at the very least, though in some moments I don’t feel up to the task.
I’ve accepted how I walk through this world and am trying to be prepared for whatever comes, knowing full well the reality of it the best that I can from where I am cemented. The pulse of life rushes by with alarming speed, and I have to dare myself to reach out to touch it, least I never understand what that rush feels like against my skin. The electric hum it whispers inside this head of mine.. standing as I am on the outside, forever looking in. Trying to see. Understand. Head tipped to one side in a confused observation. How am I suppose to fit into “life”? Where?.. and for the love of god, when?
All around me the world has fallen into the embrace of winter, hills and mountains standing behind surging streams of billowing clouds that frost the uppermost peaks in varying hues of sapphire snow, all of which is crusted under the weight of a crystalline blanket of ice. Time stands frozen in those lofty elevations as well, waiting for a spring that feels forever away.
When I close my eyes I am caught up in that swirling haze of static time. Scrub pines suspended under snowy boughs, granite and quartz cliffs dusted with enough frost to freeze a tongue fast if you were of a mind to hazard a lick.
(Sightly gritty with a juniper finish and the subtle hint of lichen.)
I picture the great shaggy mountain goats in their winter parkas, dueling horns as black as polar bear noses and smart swift feet clacking against frozen rock. I find my thoughts running with them, hiding in those elevations like a miniaturized Grinch hiding from all the Whos down in Whoville, shoulders hunched against the wind and as rounded as my large, green backside.
Random; I’ve recently read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, and Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. I’m finding an uncomfortable swath of similarities within these two books and the events in my life.. this strange brew of lingering fatigue and endless time. The desire for escape is so strong I can virtually taste it, like the mineral laden dust of my remote western desert.
Most days I feel so incredibly squashed, a disconnected body falling headfirst into dark striated fathoms, the only sensation being the pressure of the deepest oceanic abyss pressing me down further.. and further, shrinking me into a compressed mess of bits and lost pieces. Light, air, and hope shift away from reach. I am sinking, I realize this, and often the only biological need is to have it end, all of it, in one swift calamitous burst of brilliant nothingness.
I can’t follow that thread too long, or think too hard over the end result of this fine mess I’m in. What I have found is that it’s vital to tackle one day at a time. One breath. One miserable moment and task after another.. it usually works, but not always. I do allow myself to dream about the future, but always holding to the understanding that there are no hard fast rules, life will unfold as it will and I need to flex with it.
There are few expectations when your only goal is to make the finish line of each moment with a pulse. I don’t have the stamina at this time for steering the ship, because it’s caught in a ripping tide surrounded by whitewater. In this moment the trick is simply to keep my head above water and my eyes focused in a forward direction. Keep breathing. Hold with a death grip onto the amorphous edges of hope.
As for people and relationships, I hold life at arms length, refusing to address most question about myself, the need to protect that tiny flickering flame having become all consuming. It isn’t simply a marriage that crumbles around me.. it’s the foundation of an entire life. A life lived for the purpose of fulfilling other peoples expectations. Fixing their problems. Doing and being everything for everyone as they expected. Supporting them and their lives while mine withered on the vine. All things that I had, up until now, managed to avoid seeing just so I can get by, keep going, keep fixing, keep being that mindless invisible chump until every last molecule of my being was eroded into nothingness.
The clarity with which I am now forced to see my life and the relationships in it, the actions, both deliberate and unconscious by all involved, has unleashed a jagged toothed hurricane that howls in my face like a rabid demon possessed, spittle flying and blood curdling in clenched, filthy clawed fists.
Some days rage simmers like red hot molten glass exploding from a dark place inside, and when it does it tears and shreds. Maims. Cuts open and exposes festering wounds. Infection and pain are unavoidable
Once opened and scraped painfully clean, they finally allow the process of healing to begin.. you don’t get the latter without the act of releasing the filth.
That’s just how it works.
When life’s facades crack and begin their inevitable crumbling they take everything with them. Not one wall is left standing to protect that shivering pulp of decrepit life you labored so hard to protect, so either you start fighting for yourself, or you accept being squashed. It’s that simple.
There have been moments I’ve faltered, veering off the mental cliff into thin air …Moments …the length of a heartbeat ..the breath and breadth of mere seconds. The distance of time in which you either take the everlasting final step, or you don’t.
And I have so desired to in some moments.. between breaths.
The constant battle with a brain that hungers for relief. Release.
It has been arduous, and I’ve not felt the urge to splatter my heart out there for the world’s consumption in these most vulnerable of times.
This is where I have been.
Nonetheless, the fighter within still rumbles, and I credit her for my continued existence.
I. Am. Trying.
I have signed up for school (again). All I need is a chance, so until I uncover one I will keep this mind busy with anything other than the train wreck unfolding inside. Sometimes distractions are all one needs to get the mind going in a new direction, and I’ll take whatever I can get, because that’s what we fighters do best; grasp firmly to whatever handhold you can and turn it into opportunity when hanging by your fingertips from an impossibly large, crumbling cliff.
So if I can dangle up here this long, I can dangle a bit longer. I may not enjoy it, and I don’t; let’s just call a spade a spade – this time in my life is a f*cking vortex of suckage wrapped in disease laden bullshit and deep fried in boiling fermented cat piss. The bigger point, however, is that I am still here and fighting like a ninjaed out middle-aged madwoman, eye twitching, tail flicking, and ears pinned back while I snort, hiss, and spit at this thing called life.
I will not go quietly into the night; I’m going screaming and hollering, cussing out the negatives and digging my claws into the ground, peeling and shredding it as gravity tries to drag me down. Sometimes this is what you have to do, get to do, and should do, because any life worth living isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. It’s thrown at you in pieces until it’s buried you, forcing you to dig yourself out, making you stronger with each inch you claim. At some distant point you will find yourself on top of that steaming pile of Ssss…tuff.
That’s the story I’m sticking with for the time being anyway; time always tells.. (because time is a little bit of a bitch) … so I guess we’ll see how this all ends up in a few months.
Right. Time to go; Until next time my pretties,