Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Soon this place will be too small"

Writers scribbling in the midst of grief have noted the ways in which writing about the experience from the inside creates something new, namely, a safe or safe-ish place to rest. A net, a landing point, a dock from which to view the turbulent and troubled waters without having to wade in it every moment of the day. In a word: relief. The act of creation forces the creator to establish a new world with new rules and structure and form, an act that is sustaining not only in an emotion and a human way, but also in an artistic way."
From Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp

For as many times as I've done it, you would think that letting go is something that comes easy to me. And yet I still find myself fighting against it, my heart suffering from whiplash and weathered by the elements.
There is something they don't tell you about the moment when you alter your position to the universe.
My hands and feet are cold, I am filled with reckless ambition, I have avoided mirrors and sharp corners and acidic foods simply because this is what you do when you have been stripped down to a new layer of skin.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if I could plot my relation to the universe with a simple formula, putting things into neat little boxes.
I am angry because...
I am sad because...
But sometimes there is no explanation, only still silence. It is in that silence I can hear my own heartbeat like a machine gun as it slams into my chest wall.

Don't write if you don't feel up to it, people cautioned me when I told them I had started to write {about Ronan}. But it didn't matter if I felt up to it. It was my responsibility; it was my job. It ordered chaos, focused energy, provided a way of "bearing up" that no period of restfulness could possibly accomplish. In other words, rendering loss was a way of honoring life

I have spent months writing about grief, running it over in my hands, preserving it in every way that I can. I have spent days chasing after life, wondering what exactly constitutes life, and love, and always altering my position to both.
I have said the words I love you many times, and most of them meant Please don't leave me here alone
I write in my own blood, until my heart is exposed on the page. Sometimes I wonder if this also constitutes as art. I wonder if there is something beautiful in being so exposed and fragile.
I have been digging through my own ashes, pulling the gore from my chest with my bare hands, staring at myself and realizing that my horror and my wonder are colliding in this very moment in a place under my skin, that I am both.

After a second suicide attempt, Mary awakens on the bank of the Thames, having just been rescued from the water. This event marks a kind of rebirth for her, an awakening.
'We must go on living' Mary concluded, 'It is our duty'

And so, in the darkness, I am working to build a life for myself. I am capturing moments of beauty, storing them, treasuring them. I often feel like I am laboring long hours, and in the end I can only hope the outcome has been worth the heartache.
There is great heartache that comes with letting yourself be loved, I have decided. I am continually altering my place in the universe, constantly shifting, expanding and shrinking, pulling in and releasing with open hands.
There is nothing left inside of me to offer right now. My hands are empty, my body turning in on itself, my eyes always looking for glimmers of hope.
Somehow, as hard as I have tried to hold onto the past, this feels like starting over.
As much as I have made myself believe I must hold onto the pain and grief, never forget the extremes it has taken to become this person, right now it feels like I am awakening into spring, a new beginning.
There comes a time when you must taste hope for what is really is, and open your heart once more to the potential.
I have held things (people, pain, stories, grief, moments) close to my heart claiming that I would never let go of these that have impacted me so greatly
But sometimes it is time to let go
And you must stand in the wind with your arms raised to the heavens and trust that this is how it is, how it is supposed to be

I stared at him and tickled him and kissed him and wished that my words, anything, could save him. But no, writing would not save Ronan. But, I thought, it might save me

No comments: