heal thyself

I refuse to become a seeker for cures.
Everything that has ever
helped me has come through what already
lay stored in me. Old things, diffuse, unnamed, lie
across my heart.
                          This is from where
my strength comes, even when I miss my strength,
even when it turns on me
like a violent master.

— “Sources” (II), Adrienne Rich

I have missed my strength. When it returns from its absences, it is as unrecognizable as if I’d picked it up out of a Lost and Found box. It’s here now, puny and new and weird again. But it knows all my stories and treats me like an old friend. I hold myself back from trusting such an inconstant thing like I do with most other instant intimacies.

Most of what has happened lately—really, most of what has gone on with me since late last summer, since I first felt that I was willing to crack apart my entire world and the world, in response, broke out the duct tape—is not for public consumption. I look back and I see that these things are not my stories to tell. It’s hard to keep your mouth shut and fingers quiet when instinct tells you to write them out so that they can make sense. Instead, I have written around these stories and packed the blog with grilled cheese and happier things. (Are there happier things than grilled cheese? Maybe not.) I did not do what I should have done, which was to pick apart the story until I found the parts that were just mine, and then to realize that there were no such parts, that all stories are intertwined. That me alone is just scene, not story.

Right now I am alone, in fact. Myron is far away at his new job out west, and it’s up to me to prepare the house for sale and pack. I think about that Adrienne Rich poem while I debate what comes to the new house and what will go. Everything that has ever helped me has come through what already lay stored in me. No cardboard box could make this claim. It helps to know that the old things that matter are the ones that lie strong across my heart, which thumped its way through everyone else’s stories. It does not help that I put out enough trash bags every week to make people suspicious. What’s left is strong. It shines in the sunlight and sounds like steel if you smack it hard enough. It’ll get me where I’m going. I know I can write along the way instead of choosing silence.

There is a lightness now that has been missing. There is less sentiment. There are so many reasons to look forward, and then within. Who needs a cure when there’s nothing to fix? I fucked up a lot in the past year and was forgiven, and I forgave the ones who fucked up against me, and I am loved beyond measure, and nothing—nothing that matters—is broken.