Until Then…

moth on flower_iona beach_sm
I find myself in need of help. There. I said it.

What a humbling and unexpected thing to say. A crippling thing, really; it leaves me hunched, almost crying, grappling for words, not wanting to say anything because to be misunderstood is more painful than a dart though the eye. It’s incongruous too: I’m a warrior, a fighter, fierce and tough and ready to fight or drag heavy loads up long arduous hills. I might bi*ch and complain along the way but I don’t give up. Quitting is for quitters, which I am not.

I said “almost crying”. Because that’s the problem. I can’t cry anymore. Can’t feel anything at all, really. Can’t taste. Can’t feel. Can’t smell. Can’t smile. I just can’t. Most importantly, I can’t write. No poems. No songs. Nothing. Words belong to someone else. And for me, there is nothing if there aren’t words flowing out of me.

Of course there are words for what this is. Words from other people, layered on me, heavy like woolen blankets, weighing me down. I don’t need those words, I live them.

What I need is the buzz of a bee. The stopping of a clock. Time to let the haze of a summer day settle on my skin. Time to marvel at the winding tendrils of a delphinium, watch wily squirrels jumping, hear chickadees dee-dee-dee-ing. Is that a house sparrow or a song sparrow? Do butterflies mate for life? What do the needles of a spruce tree look like? Dang, who knew an air plant needed more than air to survive? I need time to buy five more air plants, and permission from the air plant society that I’m allowed.

But I have hope. Somewhere, buried deep in the loss, under the relentless layers of demand, the heaps of pressure and worry and sadness there is a word. And that word will stutter and crawl and claw its way out…it will drag other words with it and they’ll lock arms, entwine limbs, march together in unison. A sentence will demand backup and suddenly a poem will shove out its chest, refusing to back down. That poem will breathe. That poem will have wings and legs and fly from flower to flower. That poem will adore bees.

Until then…xo

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