(found here because you’re reading it)
Friends and Family and all others who stumble upon it –
What are we doing?
I wonder that sometimes. I know we all wonder that, but sometimes I wonder that in such a way that paralyzes me, that freezes me in place and brings tears to my eyes.
I have cried more in the last four months than I have in the last fifteen years. See, I can’t count those first seven or eight years because most of my childhood was spent crying in public due to a still-unexplained fear of noise and all kinds of other doubts and just pure, nervous anxiety.
I have more memories of vomiting in restaurants than anyone should, vomiting because I was nervous, nervous to exist. I have more memories of standing in parking lots with tears on my face and a taste of acid in my mouth while my father changed into a clean shirt than anyone should. That’s how much of a routine it was, for me to break down and explode in public – emotionally and digestively. My father always brought along an extra shirt whenever we went outside.
Do you know how people pick strawberries by holding up the hem of their shirt and creating a makeshift basket? My father did that a lot, except with vomit.
We can never thank our parents enough, it appears.
I don’t know what I’m doing. At least, I am still unable to answer that question – that question – without feeling paralyzed and frozen. I don’t think I ever will be able to answer it. But I have done things. Maybe for the first time in a while, maybe for the first time ever, I feel as if I have done things.
I’ve started crying in public. It’s occurred at least, although not as a regular pattern of behavior. That would be concerning, surely. But I’ve had that feeling, that paralyzed, tears-in-my-eyes feeling, and I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt it before. And then I speak and someone listens, or someone speaks and I listen. I hear Ringo Starr echo in the back of my mind, and I get by with a little help.
Isn’t friendship amazing?
I’ve even started vomiting in public again. It was on a sidewalk in Silver Springs, outside the metro station. There was a red lanyard around my neck. Nobody caught it. Nobody held it in their shirt like a bunch of strawberries. Someone was there, though.
Those we love, those friends and family about whom we truly care so much, we can never thank them enough, it appears.
These outbursts, both digestive and emotional, I’m choosing to interpret them as good signs and signs of good things to come.
I care. That’s an amazing realization. That’s the most important lesson that I have learned in the past year. There is a great angel of caring in my chest, and it is warm and bright, and it is something I’ve only just come across.
What are we doing? Why?
It suddenly seems to matter so little.
I know that I’ve been beaten during these last three hundred and sixty some odd days. For all my triumphs and joys, I’ve also been bruised up and battered, and here I am smiling.
I like Nietzsche. He wrote this:
“The human being is the most courageous animal, and so it overcame every animal. With sounding bass, it even overcame every pain, but human pain is the deepest pain.
Courage also slays dizziness at the abyss; and where do human beings not stand at the abyss? Is seeing itself not seeing the abyss?
Courage is the best slayer; courage slays even compassion: But compassion is the deepest abyss, and as deeply as human beings look into life, so deeply too they look into suffering.
But courage is the best slayer, courage that attacks; it slays even death, for it says: “Was that life? Well then! ONE MORE TIME!’”
So, here we are. One more time.