There this something inside me lately that I cannot figure out, a deeply agitated restlessness, as though I am waiting for something. I feel this undercurrent of a change in my life and since I cannot define it, I let it bloom into a thousand possibilities, some of them beautiful and magical, but mostly frightening and painful. Somehow, the unknown has turned into the big-bad-ugly and I cannot see the boldly-beautiful-urgency that it simply could be outlining. Correction: I can see it, but I somehow keep choosing to believe in the worst. And if we are our own manifestations of our futures, then how can I keep feeding the fear that the worst is yet to come? And how, when your life is so very beautiful already, can you not assume that big-change equals bad-change? It would seem like greed to expect beauty when you are already surrounded by so much of it.
This anxiety has translated me into an artistic mute. It goes like this: I see a beautiful photograph and instead of enjoying the art of it, I feel a part of me retract and spit out anger that I cannot make that level of beauty in my own life due to the broken equipment I cannot afford to fix or replace. I see photos of people at BlogHer I have longed to meet and instead of seeing their joyful embrace when they get to meet another soul sister, I find this empty patch in my heart that doesn't know how to go on without their arms wrapped around me. I read heart wrenching words of beauty and I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of the creative writing degree I haven't really put to use.
It’s as though the artistic side of me is trapped away and breathing through a thick serape caked in mud, through which only a tiny string of oxygen can seep. I want to write and yet, so often find myself staring at the keys, my heart bleeding all over the screen and a resulting disgust at the needy, pathetic, broken part of me that I don't want to share with those people who see me as strong.
And this feeling as though something BIG is about to happen has me trying to figure out what life would be like if something horrible happened to one of my kids or my husband. How, I wonder, would it be for them if the kids had to grow up without a mother? How would I survive without Mark by my side? How long would I be insane if one of my kids were gone? There are days at a time where I have this dichotomous thinking that cannot be sussed out. I walk around in a fog. I see people and I smile and I make small talk and inside my head, I'm carefully taking inventory, trying to figure out if this sensation is what cancer feels like as it creeps through my body, undetected. Or is it just the repressed workings of a once-artistic soul?
At a girl's night out the other evening, we were discussing how many marriages fell apart in our children's first year of school. In Lily's class, almost a quarter of the families suffered some sort of separation or divorce. Everything is shaken and while I feel confident in my marriage, I sometimes wonder what happened to those other families. Could it somehow affect us? At one time, they were in love with their partner and yet now they are spitting venom at the person who made up half of their child. Did part of them get trapped too and did they choose to cut off an offending limb to escape the drowning feeling? Or were they hacking wildly at their life, panicked by the same sensation I feel right now, and instead of freeing themselves they just bloodied the walls of their future?
I am trying so hard to see this restlessness as an open door of sweet possibility. I am trying so hard not to swing wildly and sit in silence while I wait. Something is coming, OK. I can accept that. Why do I have to believe it will be for the worse? Why can’t I see this potential shake-up as the brink of fresh opportunity or hope? Why do I have to translate it into anxiety? And, more importantly, how do I find the faith to open myself up to the beauty of this moment?
I saw this video today and watched Jen's face with such fierce understanding. It felt like I was watching what my own face would do if I allowed it. I saw her break and recompose and felt a bit of her struggle in my own core... this desire to let go of the façade and let things get sloppy. I thought about all she's been through, how she's followed the path laid out for her, even when it brought her to Africa and away from her family, and I wondered if I could ever have the courage to take such a step.
Something is coming. I can feel it. And I am so terrified that I will cower and run when the universe is asking me to stand up. But honestly, I think I'm even more afraid that nothing will change and I'll have to learn to live on the brink of... nothing.
Sit in silence.
Smile and let it come.
Forget it all.
Find the edge.
Open my eyes wide.
I wish I knew what the hell to do next.