This is how it works: heal, breathe, and use your words.

I haven’t deliberated over my life in quite some time, but leave it to the powers that be to slow me down with a broken rib.  Breathing requires such concentration that I have no choice but to focus on the only thing I can do, at the moment–think.  I wouldn’t claim to be a wordsmith, anymore.  No, that title left me months ago along with other descriptors–confident, spiritually evolved, kind, gentle, optimistic, loving, hopeful…to name a few.  Nothing in particular happened to derail me, but rather caught up to me.

As I get older and time becomes more valuable, moments of reflection get smaller and more specific.  An outlook on the world becomes too large to manage, and scaling back is the only way to not become overwhelmed, so interpretation on a case-by-case basis shapes perspective.  And, perspectives change; so much change.  It’s hard to get a good grip on change and such concepts as “using your words”–wordsmith skills– can easily slip through your fingers unless you practice,  after all practice makes perfect.  Behavior is surprising enough without throwing in an inability to communicate.

Last month I was headed to an event with two friends.  We were in a cab exchanging self-characteristic type things.  I launched into a characteristic about myself, and then paused mid-sentence. “Actually, that’s not true,” I said. “It’s one of those things I would like to think was true about me, but isn’t.”  For the life of me I can’t recall the characteristic, but it wasn’t an inherent characteristic of me and one I would likely never acquire.  It made me feel strange and uncomfortable to admit that, but it was true.  Cue Regina Spektor‘s “On The Radio”

…this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again…

I’m figuring out that, for the most part, people teach you about yourself.  Someone told me, once, that hate is equally important than love; love teaches you about others, but hate teaches you about yourself.  Entrusting another with your heart is a scary event–even more so if you don’t  have a clear perspective on who you are in the first place–but each invitation brings a new moment to practice being you.

The World Around Us Disappeared.

 

Those words you wrote,

The words I read,

You bled between the lines,

I’m a slow learner, stubborn you know,

Of course you knew,

Wordsmiths, we were,

You knew I’d catch bloodletting,

In the inflections once I reflect,

Notes we wrote when the world disappeared,

They didn’t outlast life,

But I held on to the one I recently read,

You were a great writer,

Much better than I,

You’ll deny, I know this about you,

Behind the text,

Behind the disguise,

The research,

The creativity,

When the vice downgraded to habit,

And habit to memory,

You kept your promise for no contact,

Your will I never doubt,

My will, wishy-washy,

I would have damaged us more,

The earth cracked,

I fell in,

Never to hear from you again,

You kept your word,

Now I keep mine,

We were never separate entities,

It just took me time,

I’m sorry I took a sledgehammer to your heart,

Pulled out your guts,

Vindictive as I was,

I meant more than I had done,

Wherever you are,

Whoever you are,

You’ve inspired me.

Mutual closure.  Full stop.

 

**This is the prologue to my Women’s Fiction, Romance, book.**

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