There was a time in my life when I did not have to think about what to write, how to write. I found it in 2011, in a walk-up apartment in a small american town — clarity that came along with the shifting of seasons and the blind, unquestioning wonder of starting life somewhere new.
Everything is salient when everything is novel, and we are grateful and plugged into moments, desperate to memorise every detail because we know change is going to come. It makes things good, easy, beautiful, even if it may not seem that way to someone else. I still remember so much. What it’s like to wake up cold, and find a sun-patch to sit in. What it’s like to barely notice the quality of a secondhand bicycle because you belong to each other. Negotiating the curves of the bike path, finding my way through the fog at night, to San Francisco and Oregon and Boston and New York alone, accompanied, absolutely happy.
Fast forward a whole SIX years and here we are! I was a student then and have become a student again. The thing is, I’m not sure what I remember about the time in between. I know worked a lot but it never felt like enough. I spent a bit too much. But I also triumphed through things that made me terrified. I found love again in the hum of a little sewing machine and in working with my hands, and fought to keep the ways of the world from tainting that love — time, money, competition, comparison, all of the things which shouldn’t matter but do. There has been so much to be grateful for, but there is a difference between gratitude for the sum of all things, and gratitude simply for coming out the other end unscathed, and these have not been in the proportion you’d hope for.
Six years is a long time to be fuzzy on the details, a long time to spend in the company of routine. Too long to go without tuning in and really listening, without writing anything more than reports (after report after report) and instagram captions, without just doing without thinking. Far too long to go without claiming that clarity again.
So six years and four paragraphs later, here we are indeed. Nothing’s changed since four paragraphs ago but I already feel better. The world is a different place but we are still standing, leopards with the same old spots, more like ourselves than we think. Today, that is a comforting thought. Hello, little white box on the internet. I’ve missed you!