Back on the Scene
The universe hurls beauty at me. I take pictures of it with my heart and later, write from that place. I discover that my writing process is inherently linked with love. It is a task that is fulfilling even though it requires sustained vulnerability. The creative process runs like a river in steady parallel with the ways I strive to live my life.
I see two second graders from the Montessori school out with their parents near my house. Their cheeks are full and soft, like cookies and their voices unfiltered; spring water. They have grown into summer, each taller, hair a little longer, personalities a little more boisterous. This is love, I think. And then I have to tell them that I will not be one of their teachers next year. They do not understand, really, and there is only a momentary flush of disappointment across their summer-freckled faces. But the parents do, and I have to confess that my creative energy is married to words right now, which means that for the first time in five years it is not married to teaching. I feel selfish and elated all at once.
Viva comes into the coffeehouse, her hair propped artfully atop her head, as always, and her laugh tempting and contagious; sweet fire. This far into friendship and still I struggle to follow the precise cadence of her sentences. I get lost in her eyes, hazel-cream centers wrapped in concentric rings of blue then green. This is love, I think. And then I remember friendship, it’s vast ocean, the depths for platonic adoration, the inherent beauty of women. She does not understand, really, the force of her own energy and how it pummels me like the wind, becoming impossible to ignore. But we agree to go swimming on Saturday, a last jaunt before she flies home, and for now that is enough.
The ex calls and his voice is soft and deep, familiar. He is living with my parents, just for a month. He says he wants to be ready to be with me again but that he just isn’t there yet. He says he needs to know what to do with his life next. I say OK, same here, and nothing – in that order. This was love, I think. He wants to know about Riley and then I struggle to tell him that my heart is bigger now, and foolish and eager and all the rest. “But thanks for being jealous,” I say, “I mean, I’m flattered.” Then I add, “There’s nothing to worry about with that, anyway.” Even his jealousy is gentle, timid, poetic. I hang up and restore my faith in the universe, repeating the mantra that got me through the break up in the first place: If it’s meant to be, we’ll end up together in the end. If it isn’t meant to be, the world is rich and full and I will find someone.
Friendship blossoms with a mountain-loving piano player, trapped under the weight of a metropolis and corporate job. I listen to his music. He reads my writing. There are lifetimes to catch up on, as if we’d spent a few together already, and the task seems huge and exciting. We know the same people, have been engendered by the same community members along the South Toe River, have attended the same weddings along the banks of the same river, have friends in similar circles, and share equal affection for the Black Mountains. Come to the valley, I think, we could fall in love. And then I have to reel myself back in, my fish-heart swimming upstream so determined and pumping. It comes back to me with extended patience and a little more shimmer than before.
And so a week has unfolded, delicately like origami. My faith in this writing project has grown and I decide to continue it. This is a placeholder entry. New rules will be posted on Monday and regular entries will immediately follow.