Ramblings: Change

adelaide bowen

July 26th

I am six days away from driving away from somewhere full of my hurts. My roots have been stubbornly stuck in, a weed attached to the pipes, and I’m afraid that if the roots are removed, the pipes will burst.

I’m reaching a boiling point and I don’t know where it’s all going to go. I know I’m going to change. I’m not sure into what. I wish it was a bird — a great eagle, a falcon, anything with great wings to soar away on. I wish I could change shape into a wolf, or a bear, something with powerful legs to run away with. I wish I could force my body through the motions and come out on the other side a deer, a moose or perhaps a horse, something to carry me and my troubles to the other side. I drew a mermaid earlier, and I wish some magic would trade my voice for a tail (it’s not like I use it much anyway — cobwebs have taken up residence in the hallway of my throat and the vocal cords are dusty) so I could swim away, deep, where no light can reach me, where the pressure of the ocean is the only pressure I can feel—

I call out to the world for strength. I need the wind to preserve me, wrap me up and give me wings. I need the sky to shield me, give me light when my path is shady and rain when I’m parched. I kneel at the foot of the ocean and gaze up at the moon, at their beck and call. I beseech them to watch over me, for the water to flow beneath my feet like the ground and heal my hurts, for the moon to guide my steps when the sky cannot. I ask the stars about all of the things they’ve seen, and let their tales fill my soul.

The world is alive when you try to find it. You must try to find it, or you’ll go mad. There is nothing else for us, here. Just us, and the world. And isn’t that enough? Isn’t that holy enough? Isn’t there enough magic, enough god, in that alone? Can’t you find meaning in the way the bee pollinates or how the path of a stream erodes stone over time and makes way for new animals to make their homes in it? There is so much deliberate love in every action in nature, you just have to contemplate what each and every one does for another.

And I, I will have lots of time to contemplate my relationship to the world. Watching it go by from the window of an RV. Leaving behind all I’ve ever known — even if all I’ve ever known is hell, it’s still my whole life — for new territory.

New things are coming. Surely. I know I can execute much more of what I want to do when we’re settled. But will that happen? ‘Getting settled’? I am skeptical.

I suppose I shall just have to see what the future holds… like I have ever been good at that.

July 27th

I’m trying

The last time I saw my friend they cried so hard they couldn’t speak and I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t do anything but hug them and rub their back. All I said was, “it’ll be okay”. But it wouldn’t. They’re sad — desperately so — that I’m moving. And I am. I’m leaving.

I felt… so much and so little. I didn’t know what to do. They cried so much. I’m tearing up right now, but I won’t cry. I can’t. If I cry…

If I cry, it’ll just be too much.

I drew a mermaid, laying on the rocks. Waving. Are they waving ‘hello’? ‘Goodbye’? Are they saying “have a good journey”? Their face says nothing. Just a dreamy, content smile. I will not find my answers there.

I have so far, since July 20th, finished: Susan Sontag’s Reborn, Fatimah Asghar’s If They Come For Us, as well as Halal If You Hear Me, and Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky. I have started Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, and while I find myself in the pages, my attention wanders and roams in these uncertain times, and I cannot commit to the pages. I wonder if I’d do better with a book of poetry. Or perhaps My Mother She Ate Me, My Father He Killed Me, the book of new fairytales. I could try Stigmata: Escaping Texts again.

Perhaps I could try a study of lips, as they are a rather difficult part of the body for me to draw. That would be something to do with my hands and focus while allowing my mind to wander. And yet still I find myself mindlessly looking at my phone. Stuck in inaction. Why, I scream at myself. Can’t you just work with me?!

The closing is supposed to be … tomorrow? The day after? My heart jumps. I am scared. Terrified. I don’t have good experiences with moving. Every house has been one disaster after the next. If it wasn’t the house itself it was the situation; it was life. Nothing ever stayed good for long. And now, I’m flying into uncertainty.

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I can only grit my teeth and bear it. I am steel, I am ice. Tired, yes, but still standing. Still standing.

And even if I wasn’t, I’d be laying on my back, laughing, finger up at the world. I have made it this far. I will make it farther. Some things you must do on your own… this journey of the self I will continue alone. No one can really follow, anyway.

Scared, but still bracing. Spirit-strong. Unbroken. I am indignant at the idea. No one can hurt me but me. No one is allowed to hurt me, but me.

This is not strictly true, but in essence — I will not allow anyone the power of truly hurting me. Owning any part of me. I am not to be owned. I am untethered.

This, this is how I have made it this long while knowing my world was inside the jaws of a wolf — strong, unbroken spirit. And tired, downtrodden, traumatized I might be, but I am not going quietly into the night.

I have too much progress behind me to do that — I have worked too hard to become who I am to do that. I will fight to retain myself. I will fight to meet the new me who is on their way.

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