There are some ugly words. (Divorce. Divergence.)
There are some hope-words. (Choosing someone, something, every day.)
There are some words I don't know how to swallow. (Resentment. Forgiveness. Rewind, refresh, revision.)
I am collecting the remnants of burned bridges.
Three years ago, I moved in with friends and learned what it meant to be close, I learned what it meant to come home. The walls were bright, the kitchen messy, and I slept in a room in the basement with one dirty window, Grace and I counting spiders and old cobwebs along the walls. Less than a year later I found myself searching for a new home, and felt like my heart had been dragged through the gravel that was our driveway. I moved, I tried to stitch up the raw skin. We became friends again. Spring happened. Fall came. We helped paint their new house. There was a falling-out over school: public and homeschooling, un-schooling, other-schooling, and I carried my debt through the doors of the University again wholly determined to build something better, something strong. I don't want to buy into the debt for education model, but I also don't believe in either/or, us and them. I burned that bridge.
We, three, talked earlier about relationships, about commitment, about marriage. We put the pursuit of happiness in the hands of the individual, we have lonely partners, we have "this isn't working." We becomes a ghost. We draw lines in the sand: on this side, mine. On that side, yours. Soon those lines become washed away with the tide, but they remain in our bodies and we track them, we wander, we begin to mourn.
I have a daughter. I genuinely believed it wasn't working.
I have a daughter. I have fire for a shadow. Sometimes an unlit match.
The we changes; sometimes it is me, sometimes it is us, sometimes it is you.
I saw amber in his eyes, and comfort in his arms.
We are each the love of someone's life. What about when resentment becomes your breath and hope lost its way in all of the moves you've made? What about when waking up and choosing for one more day, might hurt you? What about when you believe that love can make you whole? I found this book on Grace's dad's shelf and haven't read it yet. I don't like love. Rephrase: I
I used to belong to a church. I used to believe that it was best to save everything for marriage, thus you come whole rather than pieced back together with threads left in so many places. Now, I am thin, but I am also not a commodity that could be whole or broken, with value added if I happen to arrive in one piece. I burned this bridge, too, because it hurt too much to feel the strain of idealization, idolization, empty compassion.
I see their truth, though, because sometimes the stories are heavy and I'm hiding in the pages.
Truth 1: I don't know how to forgive.
Truth 1 and a half: Forgiveness is hard when there is Facebook.
Truth 2: I wonder how many more bridges I'll burn and whether or not I'll always feel like crawling under a rock.
Truth 3: Hiding under a rock doesn't make the ashes disappear.
Truth 4: I am messy. We're all messy.
Truth 5: I wholeheartedly believe in romance and love stories. I have learned that fighting it does nothing for the soul. I'm ready, now, to let go.
All of this makes me feel bad. Like, a bad person who is messy in the worst way, a reckless heart with too many bruises, dragging the hearts of others down as I whisper my way through the blankets and out of bed. And is it enough to say that we're messy, that we're broken? Isn't there fault somewhere? Does there have to be?Tell me, isn't there a point where we say enough?
And so I write this letter.