Yes, I do realize this is the first time I’ve posted to my blog in many weeks. Appalling as that fact may be, the reality of a cross-country pilgrimage, complete with solo parenting a young child along the way, is such that I haven’t had the opportunity to delve into writing here. Add to that the fact that I switched from uploading photos here to uploading photos on Facebook, where it was a) technologically unchallenging and b) offering more gratification in terms of people responding, and the blog, it’s true, moldered a bit on its little digital shelf in the corner.
Lily and I are not yet back home. We will return in six days. Right now we’re in Sherman, New York, staying with my dear friend Liag and her cat Merlyn. At this very moment, Liag is out, Lily is secluding herself in a different room, and I’m thinking, I had best seize the chance to scratch the blog itch.
The phrase “some disassembly required” floated up through the aqueous strata of my thoughts yesterday. Much of the time that we’ve been on the road, my attention has been relentlessly occupied, split, sliced, and diced. The amount of incoming stimuli, information, new experiences, and the concurrent internal scramble to arrange it all into making sense has been overwhelming. “Overwhelming” doesn’t entirely capture it. My life, perceptions, being, doing: rearranged, daily. Upended. I chose this, of course. I signed up for this mad mission.
What drove me? I can rattle off half a dozen reasons that make logical sense, but here’s the one that’s most compelling to me: I followed my heart, or call it intuition, call it whatever words you attach to that which is wordless. And being foolish enough to attempt to use words, I will attempt to give voice to this heart:
I needed to come apart. I needed to dismantle the veneers of normality and custom that insinuate themselves. I needed to disassemble what I thought was home, family, intimacy, community—to let externally-imposed definitions dissolve in the rain until I could see these sacred elements with my own eyes, touch them with my own hands. I needed to breathe. I needed great, literal distances in order to feel the pressure ease between my cells. I needed extraordinary closeness, too. I needed to break. I needed to knit together. I needed to refine my discernment of bullshit vs. priorities. I needed to show up. I needed to drink and pour from the ewer of tenderness.
How miraculous to get what I sought.