the work and the sweetness.

IMG_2920 i abandoned this space around the same time i abandoned myself. that was mostly happenstance. once in a while, i would write a post i could not publish; words that felt too vulnerable, too scary, too self-serving. and then, i pretty much forgot about this blog.

this is a space that i meant for sharing, but all i had to give was need, so absence was a conscious choice. i could have written forever about my need, but there wasn’t time. i wanted to tell you everything, but everything was too close, too much to share with a figurative you. too much and too close; i wanted to tell you everything, but this is the internet, so who cares, and is it even safe? (i was scared a lot.) who wants to hear the hard stuff. (everyone, i know. i do, too. other folks’ hard stuff has been my flashlight, but i couldn’t be someone else’s. i needed too much and it felt endless.)

i am different now from who i was when i last wrote here. i would like to write about the things that matter but those things are different for me now. i don’t know how to bridge that gap of intention and experience and time. maybe first i have to tell the truth, to freshen the air, so i will just cut to the chase and tell it. maybe then i will start visiting this place again, but maybe not. i can’t say.

these things have happened: my father and dementia. his naked, drunken fall into the woodbox where he laid four days until someone found him wounded & reciting “the cremation of sam mcgee” by rote… the neighbor who found him said he met her eyes and called out my name. his miraculous survival, blessed or not, depending upon one’s viewpoint (mine varies). and soon but later, his beautiful house ruined, caved in by a flood of his own doing. a made-up, real-to-one-guy story of a hurricane and lightning and a torn-off roof. insurance companies, assisted living, the goddamned irs, redeye flights, being his only family, the only one, the only. a promotion, because why not now (all of the reasons.). work which i keep secret for my safety; work for women… important work– work involving firebombs & the fbi, work i mostly own in private. my sweetest best friend girl-dog, most important tether to love, and the diagnosis of her terminal illness. grieving things that are lost but not-yet-lost, the things i care about the most. waiting for things i do not want. trying. trying to not try. trying to sleep. being badly rear-ended once, and again, almost to the day, one year later. back pain, the chiropractor, ad nauseum, so boring. lies and infidelity and not-being-able-to-face-the-truth-just-yet and the tryingtryingtrying because maybe i can fix it, all i need is more to give to the person i love who has more-need-than-mine & please-this-can’t-be-happening-now, because this-is-the-guy-who-i-have-chosen. it must be all my fault. the occasional swilling of port from the bottle, of cigarettes, of weed.

the dark comedy of everything all at once. the bitter laughter, the rage, the exhaustion.

i did not make a knitting project. i did not bake one pie. i did not read a single book. i choked down blizzards at dairy queen & truffled french fries at fancy places and i couldn’t even taste them and i got skinnier anyway. i hired an animal reiki practitioner. i hired a dog acupuncturist. i got my tarot read by a tenth-generation psychic. i watched teen mom on my ipad in bed at three am. i duty-fucked and sometimes i enjoyed it. i felt sorry for myself. i read amazon reviews of self-help books and felt sorry for everyone else and then sorry for myself again. i stopped calling friends because who wants to hear about that other thing that happened, certainly not me. the good friends called me, and i talked. i went to therapy and got tired of my own talking because blah blah blah, i know the deal, and who am i to complain, anyway– my forks and spoons are made of solid fucking silver!

i waited it out. i trusted. because i am lucky. because given the odds, i win things in raffles more often than i should. because raffles are a metaphor for life, and sometimes, you win. i waited and i trusted. it worked.

one day, the genuine laughter. one day, the fuck you. then the letting go of the chaos, to the chaos. the freedom i feel now. the wrinkles that came, and their fast and collagenous dissolving. the freedom equals hope, equals light, equals everything.

i don’t knit much anymore and i miss it. i miss thrift stores and free time. i miss my idea-of-a-husband and my daddy and the way things were, but. feelings are only feelings. i am grateful for all of it, and i mean that. now i am a grown-up baby girl, and i like her more than i did before.

life is a hurricane. you can make it yourself. it’s funny what it gives and takes.

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7 thoughts on “the work and the sweetness.

  1. Emily,
    What an amazing, brave, strong, fierce, tender, loving woman you are. You light up the word ! You show the way for the rest of us to allow ourselves to break open. What a gift you are, all of you, every bit of you. I love you ! You bless my life and all the lives of the people you touch.

  2. Wow, bless you and your words – sounds like you’ve been through hell and back again. I kept peeking back here hoping you would return. Keep strong, glad you are back.

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