12.31.19

awakenings that come with grief

I haven’t posted anything in December because I’ve been struggling with what Sontag called lexical inevitability - for every single line to feel as if it couldn’t have been any other way.

That isn’t possible, of course, but I can try and try. My hands know that every sentence can be precise without being perfect, but my heart isn’t there yet, though it wants to believe.

It’s as though each line is burrowed somewhere in my marrow, and I have to find my way to each one. I rarely discover them in succession of the other. My drafts folder is filled with pieces from my 20’s that are missing their centers, despite my efforts to make something, anything fit.

I think that’s one of the gifts/awakenings that come with grief. I don’t have to write specific narratives anymore. I don’t need absolutes, closures, or certainties. Perhaps that’s something we only gain after losing the unimaginable. My needs are incredibly simple and easily met when I show up willingly. 

We all, somewhere in our DNA, understand what loss is, that it’s this shock, this sort of trauma, it’s a physical emotion because grief, at its core, is love with no place to go.

I think that’s where all transformation starts, in a jarring, broken place. We all need something to shake us awake, something that will make us say, “I can’t live like this any longer,” and just as importantly, ask, “How do I live differently?”

We take that first step, and after that, there’s another first step, every step is the first step when it’s a step in a new direction.