I am sitting here in another nest, not my own, buzzing with Rags' skillfully made cowboy coffee willing tears to come, to cool, to renew, to empty themselves onto these haggard hands resting resentfully so on this adopted computer. I am a thousand miles away, I am a million miles from home. At the birth of this year, the sentence home is something we carry inside of ourselves came and spilled forth during a quiet evening spent in and away from the wintery weather lying in wait outside of my windows.
Today is not a good day.
Actually, that is a fabrication.
Today has had many windows of joy.
a) holding baby Rollin and looking at his gorgeous neck
b) visiting my grandfather in a hospital room and noticing an unfamiliar softness in his face
c) riding my bicycle in heavy traffic
d) visiting with Rags after a very long hiatus
But in the space between all of these moments of joy, I swung low. And again, I am swinging low.
It has been a while, I must admit.
Perhaps this is a good a time as any to write down (and in doing so, acknowledging) that I am afraid to leave again, afraid of the unknowns of Spray (which is apropriately capitalized because it is both daunting and ridiculous work, and somehow that justifies the usuage of a tall S), afraid of birthing children with flippered feet (poor Frances), afraid of going back into the land that I fell in love with at the start of summer and being disenchanted or let down by the wind or the quiet or the sudden valleys (these were all of my favorite things while planting) this time around. This hesitancy sprang out of nowhere and as I sat in this beautiful borrowed home floundering and running around looking for vice 1 2 or 3 to aid in the processing deptartment, the realization that I am entirely alone and have no other choice but to deal with these issues threw itself over me like a heavy quilt being thrown over an unexpecting victim. It was not negative, I was simply not ready for it.
Heavy quilted fear.
Sitting in her sunlit porch this afternoon, Andrea's mouth gave life to a sentence that I have been trying to articulate for one entire month now. In her sharp and even way, her string of words as valuable to me as my Grandmother's shirt or the tiny blue ring in my mother's jewelery box roped in all of the missing parts of my heart. She always manages to do this somehow and it was exactly what I needed. I am also afraid that I do not do this for people as much as people do this for me.
The other night Sula came over to drink wine and eat cheese and spill onto my borrowed nook table and she too restored me in her sharp and pointed way. A few nights before that I found myself dipped banana-like in a chair as old as the hills in the studio belonging to Ben and Pete and the Fish, surrounded by Lo, Jill and Sara. These gorgeous women leaned in and between the collective sips of something and the collective drags of something else, we looked at each other and looked at each other and I kept saying it is good to be home. I missed them, that freedom of walking into the studio and being drawn to the chalkboard drilled to the south wall like a bee to the hive and drawing and drawing and drawing for hours, watching the long haired boys dance like children in the makeshift living room and everyone's eyes were shining. It was nice to feel hands on the waist while I was tangled up with Lisa's Ryan, drawing, both of us caught in separate universes. Him drawing something on fire (pink chalk) and me drawing a cake, a bicycle, a banana, a shark; these playful, separate things that fill my head when I am not too busy thinking of other things. I feel very fortunate for these women attached to the shining eyes, the porches three stories up, the sunken couches catching disheartened tears, the nook tables laden with wine and candles and affordable chocolate. You are good women.
I am not sure what to write, or how to write it, other than to say that I am a mess who longs for home. Home is not inside of me today, that is for sure. These days I feel most at home on my bicycle, in the dark. Late last night while riding home from a solitary trip to the theater, a V of gorgeous men on gorgeous bicycles pulled up behind me at a light and I kept telling myself balance, balance, balance; do not touch your feet to the ground, balance Meg (and I did) while holding a casual conversation with the leader of the flying V, all the while silently begging the light to turn green. Eventually it turned, and with feet still in pedals I took off shaking violently with adrenaline and pride. It has been one year and a half since sitting in a living room learning mechanics and the art behind truing and hops/dips. Balancing in front of those men felt like a year end test. I am not sure, but I think I passed. Either way, their familiar faces struck a nerve that I had long stopped feeling and retrospect rushed in greedily, as it always does in those situations.
I am going back into the bush to kill trees this time, and will probably be gone until the end of September. I miss the quiet that settles in after supper, the fireflies, the fog at five in the morning. But once there, I know I will miss the shrieking teens of the Village, the wild patios, the sudden guests and patio joiners, the sound of my direct drive clicking softly underneath me. But I will miss those shining eyes around me and the number of sure hands slipping around an unsuspecting waist bent half mast at a chalkboard. But thankfully, those who leave tend to return. I will be one of those returnees; on the prowl for a new kitchen, a new home.
All the while, all of my favorite eyes and hands and mouths will keep shutting, opening, doing. This is a good thing. If anything, the idea of that is home enough.