Bear with me. It has been a rough couple of weeks but there is light at the end of this blogging tunnel.
April 2022. South Carolina.
The sky poured onto the forest last night.
Now, in the midday slivers of sun, the duff warms and its sweet musk rises to mingle with the tang of pine & hickory perfume.
The scents smother my thoughts. Dog bounces and tugs happily at my side and I wonder how can his nose, so much more sensitive than mine, not be overwhelmed by this fog of tree.
My head is full—of memory, rage, exhaustion, anxiety, of a lingering love I just can’t kill—yet all this swims in the fog of tree and I can only walk and react to Dog’s alerts, lunges, and pauses.
The fog never lifts as the day wears on. As evening comes, dampness coating Blanche’s innards and exterior, I stare at my phone to try to find words, to try to string ideas and emotions together to form not just coherent work, but a plan.
For some reason, (the smells and tall trees, perhaps) an image from a nightmare I had years ago comes to mind as fitting of my thoughts: I was a solitary traveler walking an abandoned railroad and came upon a massive pile of rotting, human body parts leftover from some apocalyptic event.
(Yes, I have horrendous nightmares sometimes)
To be fair, it is apt; my plan for the future, my concept of where my work is going, my thoughts on how to recover from my past and move on, my ability to partner ever again, all look like random, damaged, mismatched, and hideous pieces of dead beings.
I struggle to assemble something human from the pieces, something recognizable as complete and functional.
The pieces simply don’t fit.
Sitting at my tiny dinette, I turn on my Bluetooth speaker and look through my music library on my phone. Times like this, I seek something that hits the core of my current mood and existence. I launch K. D. Lang’s “Constant Craving,” her silken voice flowing around me like dozens of warm rivulets.
When I heard the song decades ago, I didn’t examine the lyrics but assumed it was a love song. Now, of course, I know better and appreciate it even more than I did in its early days.
Several people (all women) have called me brave of late. Some, I feel sure, have sat back and thought me quite the opposite as they watch and wait (seemingly indefinitely) for me to succeed or fail.
I feel neither brave nor afraid. I feel disconnected; as far from my future and any certainty as that character in my nightmare who stumbled upon the mountain of human offal and stood in disbelief.
In my dream, I merely walked on, trying to shake off the horror of what I’d witnessed.
For now, I can only sit still and examine these pieces again and again. Hope that something knits them together.
I’ve found no answers in this particular rumination.
I wrote. That’s all I can do sometimes. One word followed by another, like footsteps on a journey.
I suppose, in that, I’ve assembled at least some small figure from the pile of parts.