Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Wings

There is something about spring that makes me feel like a child. Not like the skipping, carefree version who wants nothing more than a lollipop and a turn on the swing. I'm talking about the essence of childhood, the bated breath of possibility, the evolution into something bigger and greater than you were before. There is a part of me that dreaded this season. It is, afterall, a first spring without Amy. The first blossoming of flowers, the first cool morning that gives birth to a warm day, the first throwing off of the sweater underneath a hot sun...the first taste of this immaculate freshness that incites so much compulsive cleaning and organizing. All of this without Amy. But I feel a kinship with the budding trees and flowers. Something is alive in me, something is being born, and I feel a weak, but palpable joy that has been absent for so long. Or maybe it was just buried beneath so much grief.

Is this a betrayal to feel happy? Probably. I am just so exhausted from the sadness. I honestly can't walk among the other humans with that burden anymore. I have to say "I'm sorry Amy. I'm sorry to be having this gift of Spring, to be loving warm winds on my face, to be intoxicated with the yellows of daffodils and forsythias, to be...alive when you are not." And then I have to walk away from that sorrow. Because there is nothing left for me in that place that held me so tight I couldn't even breathe.

I haven't been writing. There are many reasons for that. But mostly I felt stale. I felt unworthy to be putting words to paper and everything I wrote felt ugly and wrong. And then Monday, Ashley sent me an article written by Elizabeth Gilbert that really got in my heart and uprooted those weeds that stopped me from pursuing this creative expression.

"I believe that – if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – that you should take on this work like a holy calling...I made a vow to writing, very young...One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: "That's actually not my problem." The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows." - Elizabeth Gilbert "Thoughts on Writing"

So that's it. I always felt like writing, for me, was a holy calling as she describes. And that calling haunts me, it nags me like a bitchy wife, it wakes me up in the middle of the night with words, phrases, sentences, dripping from my dreams like blood from an open cut. And like her, I can't make any promises about the quality of what is put to paper. I only can honor that calling, that screaming write. To write like the words have the keys to the answers to everything I ever wanted to know.

So I will enjoy this spring and I will write and I will make the choice to be happy. Because at the very least I have to try, I have to believe that there is something in me that is valuable, that matters. And maybe you think thats silly or melodramatic or whatever. I don't care. I'm so tired of hating myself...of grieving, of pinching an inch, of wallowing in mires of muddy self-pity, of crying terrible tears at sunsets Amy will never see, of crawling out of bed in the morning with dread at the thought of a new day. Its not fair to ask a person to live this way. Not even the likes of me.

So I'm going to take flight on my spring wings, like a butterfly out of my chrysalis. No grief to bear. Us butterflies, we travel light.

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