March 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
One of the reasons I enjoy reading fantasy novels so much is the world-building. I am always in awe of writers like Ursula Le Guin or Brandon Sanderson, who can pack such fascination and mystique into their different universes, time and time again. And that, I think, is (only) one of the reasons why breaking up with Danny has been so difficult. The loss of all those worlds that could have been, that existed in my daydreams of the future. It’s good to take one day at a time, but it’s also only human nature to plan ahead, to see a future with someone, especially when you are together for a number of years as we were. I’ve always been one who wanders off into daydreams, imagining possibilities, conversations, spinning out interesting scenarios from any possible little encounter. All those thoughts I had about us are gone, all our future worlds’ potential, all the ideas and hopes and casual wonders.
I realize I might come across as desperately heartbroken and dying inside; I don’t mean to, especially in case Danny himself will read this. (The thought of which I don’t mind: this blog has brought me incredible joy over the years, and it would not exist if it weren’t for him.) My heart does hurt badly but I don’t want him to feel guilty. Danny and I had different ideas for our future and we did what had to be done. I don’t regret what I did or said- we both certainly tried to make it as simple and amicable as possible- merely the losses that came right along with it. Those worlds I had spun out in my dreams, worlds with his family and friends, oh especially his wonderful family, worlds of love and laughter and the relationship we’d spent years cultivating. To strip myself of my current life in less than an evening’s time and carry on into a suddenly bleak and very impenetrable future was the hardest battle I have ever fought. I use past tense although, trust me, it is still ongoing.
I am a creature of habit, a lover of routine and the comforts of the familiar. I am Catholic for many reasons, not the least of which is the eternal, unchanging aspect of its world. The seasons of the Church come and go, flowing ever onward in the cycle of faith, mystery being found even in repetition, and I delight in that. I like to travel, but I don’t need to explore the world, unless it’s a world within a book and I’m exploring it while safely ensconced under my down blanket. And yet, here I am. The world I venture into now has only light enough for me to see until the end of today. And although at times these past few weeks, it has seemed desolate and forsaken, menaced by sorrow, it is not. This strange new world, birthed in the season of dust and ashes, already holds those dear to me: my family, who cheer me up with food and viewing parties of Charlton Heston’s epic The Ten Commandments, my friends both old and new, who let me cry in the middle of public places or teach me that the gift of friendship can be found in the most unexpected ways, and, of course, inexorably, inevitably, Christ. He is present in this world as He was in my past, and ever will be. Though I’ve drawn back and turned around and run away so many times before, His heart calls out to mine yet again, Hound of Heaven that He is. I come heartsore and soul-silent to this world, alien to me now but real, more real than any universe in any book. I pray for strength, for hope, for Danny, for joy, for the courage necessary to carry on.
March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
And so, I write. To give reason and form to the uncoupling links of my life. To attempt to make sense of the suddenly shifting ice beneath my feet. To put into sound and motion the interior collapse of me: the chunks of ice inside that are breaking off and breaking up and tipping down and bobbing on their sides until they reach the final arc of their swing and settle back down into place on the water of my life, where hopefully the jagged edges will smooth and reunite. If I write fast enough, perhaps I can get ahead of those shattering ice floes, eclipse them in a blaze of typing, of thinking not about the emotions but merely the words and how they sound, rolling them around on my tongue, tasting all at once the smooth sweetness and slight acidity of language and expression. And so, I write:
There are times now I feel like I’ve lost the words , like birds escaping from my mouth when I open it to speak. The flutter of their wings in my throat, that raw taste of saltwater on my tongue. I can’t talk for all the birds around me. Birds with memories shining on their wings fly away from me, disappear into thin air. Come back, birds. Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me without words.
I’ve never been in dread of so many things before in my life. Silence. Lent. Night. The last page of a book, when I look up from another world. Summertime. Facebook. Memories.
Where am I now? I’m thinking that the immediacy of the present was a heavy price to pay for the dreams of the future. To give up on something good and solidly in front of me, because of that unstable and misty future is the hardest struggle of my life. We none of us know what may happen tomorrow, or the day after, or in ten years time. I have a dream. But I also had a life. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to his parents. I gave something up to be free to gain something more, but it’s farther than ever from me.
Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard if there were more than total silence in my soul right now. Where did you go, God? Where are you?