It’s generally safe to assume that when I’m not posting much it’s because there’s a lot going on. When I pick up the talking stick, it’s because I’ve had time to think—to transpose everything that’s happened into words. It takes me a while but you know I get there. There’s been a lot going on. I don’t know if I’m there.
For one, there’s my book.
Then, I had to move.
And the 2nd of October marked the one year anniversary of the last day I sat beside Pio and held his hand.
I took his ashes into the ocean on that day.
Also, not specifically related to any of this but happening simultaneously, I’ve started experimenting with intermittent fasting.
So there’s a lot going on inside of me, but I don’t know what to say about most of it yet. Here’s a feeble attempt to start:
I guess I can begin with an unsolicited piece of advice about what to say/not to say to your friend who has lost someone as significant as air. Do that person a favor and don’t make comments about how fast time has gone. Have I said this before? I’m sorry. I’m saying it again. Like, for example, “Wow! Time is flying, isn’t it? I can’t believe it’s already been one year!” Please don’t say that. Because to the person who lost someone, the first week took a year. I guarantee you that friend of yours feels like they have already lived without their person for 100 years and I promise you they don’t think it’s a nice feeling. Just so you know. There’s that.
LUCKY AND UNLUCKY
AMAZING reviews have been coming in about Marry a Mennonite Boy and Make Pie. I’ve also had touching private conversations with friends who have experienced journeys that are similar to mine in one way or another. I can see now that I was right: this book did need to be written. And it did need to get out of my computer and into other hands. I’m so proud of it.
And, yeah, I moved. My landlord suddenly needed his extra house back, so I had to make other plans. I was SO SAD to get the news that I needed to move, but then something happened that you kind of won’t believe. I almost immediately (2 days?) found another house. It’s about the same price and it’s so close to the beach I can hear the waves all night long. If there is ever a tsunami, I will never know what hit me. But the best part is that back before I even knew him, Pio built this house. Can you believe it? It feels exactly like home. It is home. Caramelo and Ambrogio like it as much as cats can like a new house. Is all of this some random coincidence? I have no idea.
So again, I’m lucky. And unlucky.
I’m not ready to tell you about the ashes yet. I might have to write it as a poem because I don’t know now you make a thing like that fit into sentences.
And the book deserves more focus than what I’ve been giving it. You’re supposed to blog mercilessly about your new book and drive everyone who knows you insane with shameless self-promotion when it comes out. I don’t think I’ve been doing that. That would have been hard for me to do even if this was the only thing on my plate. It isn’t.
I have a good friend who does intermittent fasting and got me curious. I didn’t think I could do it. It sounded horrible. I thought I would be miserable or dizzy or grumpy or… I just thought it would be too hard or somehow unbearable. It isn’t. It isn’t easy, but what’s easy? Pretty much nothing worth doing is easy. And there’s the spiritual/emotional side of it too. I’m not sure I have words that give this any meaning, either, but I’m acknowledging it. Either fasting is a spiritual practice that turns out to be good for your body, or it is a health practice that turns out to be good for your spirit. I don’t really feel the need to differentiate. If you get curious, you can read about it on line. If it was anywhere near as bad as you think, I would not be doing it. I always say I’ll try anything once, and I didn’t think I could live with something as lame-sounding as “intermittent fasting” being the one thing I wimped out on and wouldn’t try. I’ll save that for something actually dangerous.
I didn’t take all the ashes. I saved some. That’s cheating, but whoever does the surviving gets to make at least a few of the decisions. I made up that rule.
I’ve been thinking a lot about bats. How they fly around in dark caves and no, they can’t see, but they “see” with other senses. Radar. They turn on their radar and they can tell where they are, where other things are, where they should go. I’ve been trying to navigate by radar. Because I can’t see shit. It’s all fog. But I try to see and listen with other senses. Sometimes when I walk or run on the deserted beach, I close my eyes and try to keep going in a straight line by listening to the sound of the ocean to the side of me, feeling the wind in my face, feeling the sun on my back. It isn’t easy but I can do it. I keep trying. I follow my gut, hoping that will teach it to give good advice.
I spent a whole year of evenings, essentially, lying in a hammock on a dark porch in silence trying to take it all in. Not unlike a bat in a cave, except I wasn’t hanging upside down. I was hanging though, in the hammock. Most people are afraid of or dislike bats and dark places and sadness. Most people run away from the cave. Not me. I am trying to see my way around in it like a bat.
I told you, there’s a lot going on and I’m not sure I’ve arrived at the words for it yet. But I’m trying. I never stop trying. I’ll get there.