“She has been running for so long.
She does not remember when she began. She has always been running, running, hurtling forward, headlong, passion in her heart and limbs, not thinking of the goal, only running. She is hot and wet. She is wet with heat.
Her breath comes in deep gasps. Her searing heart expands.
She stops in her tracks. She stares. A strong woman, panting, stares back at her. Eyes blazing with force and heat. A mirror? A mirage? A perfect twin? Hair tangled with sweat. Her? Another? Who?
Running, everything blurring.
Searing heart. Breath in deep gasps.
Hot and wet. Wet with heat.
Running, hurtling headlong forward, passion in heart and limbs, no go, only running, running. Running.
This is a poem called Mabon I stumbled across last night while going through books I had stashed away…and oh did it resonate.
I should backtrack.
The day of my last blog post I decided it was time to be brave. Over the summer when I went back to New Jersey in June my childhood home because a bit of a disaster soon. My baby sister accidentally flooded the basement which still contained a rather large chunk of my college life in Boston, including a portfolio case that contained all the precious little momentos that once hung on my walls.
I brought the portfolio case with me on my cross country trip, knowing that eventually I would have to look inside at the carnage the flood caused, and that it would not be pretty. I was terrified.. I’m not one of those that keeps precious things in a box. I like being able to see cards and notes, drawings and tokens of affection… I had little things that I had saved; a note from a friend who brought me pieces fresh out of the kiln, a Valentine from one of my best friends the year we met, a card from a very close friend that kept me sane after my aunt died and I still had one semester left…
One thing extra precious in the menagerie of precious was a photograph. It was taken when I was thirteen, and is one of few where I can tell you exactly where it was taken and what I was doing. My aunt and I were in a Starbucks (she was a coffee junky, although she preferred it from 7/11 with half and half, no sugar…funny the shit you remember), it was one of the first I had ever been in. She got me a muffin and we were waiting on her coffee. It was a pit stop on way to a Wynonna Judd concert in New England, and my uncle took a photo of us through the glass window. We’re hugging each other, laughing, and are just so..us.
Since my freshman year of college my aunt and I corresponded regularly over e mail.. I still have most of them. The only ones I deleted were when she yelled at me for spending too much money. I knew she was sick when the e mails stopped… I found out she was terminal when I came home from college for Christmas. I knew she was dying, really dying, when I came back to school at the end of January. I had that picture hanging in my dorm. When I couldn’t e mail anymore I talked to the photo daily, telling her what I was up to and how I was okay, and wished she was as well.. She died a week into my last semester of college, college she paid for me to go to and wanted me to finish so badly..and to get through I continued to talk to the photo. I finished my degree for her as well as myself.
After I graduated, I ignored the photo. I didn’t want to think about her being gone. It hurt enough to be home without her..and so I ran to California. And then the flood happened…and without looking inside I brought the whole portfolio case to California.
I moved into my apartment in June. For months it has been in a shambles…because I seem to have this built in urge to run from one thing to the next. Being away from Kane is hard…and for the first time in my life I think about living with someone on a regular basis. We talk about it often, and I know that if nothing else around February that will become a reality..but until then I was all but resenting the little apartment I spent maybe a week out of a month in.
Why? Why did I resent it when I should have pride in it? Why did I unpack nothing in preparation for what is next instead of enjoying what I had? I thought back to college, to my junior year when Jason and I were hot and heavy. One of the many reasons our relationship failed (besides our youth, his life being impractical, and all in all us growing into different people, etc) was that we burned out. He asked me out in August, and by October was talking about proposing. Mind you, I was twenty and he was twenty four. We were young, stupid, in a long distance relationship and hopelessly in love. Because we would go a month or more without seeing each other in person our trips would be super intense. There’s only so much you can share over cam and phone, and we would pour everything into those in person visits.. Because they were limited we drifted from the present to the future often…eventually drifting too far into the future. I was obsessed with it, and he couldn’t see it anymore…
Back to the present, where I sat thinking about all of this. I looked over at the portfolio case that has been untouched since June…and I dug in. I unpacked it and went through the carnage, rediscovering treasures like the last birthday card my grandfather gave me and a Catwoman marker drawing my dad made me, in tact. I went through the whole case, unable to find the photograph, and was folding up the portfolio case when I felt something in the front pocket.
The frame was trashed. Disgusting. It was covered in black mold and no longer resembled a frame. I pulled the gross object out, prepared to look at the carnage and toss the whole thing out…and found the picture. In tact. Okay. The edges that were locked inside the frame were blurred from water damage, but the center, the photo of my aunt and I, was perfect. Just as I remember. I immediately put it up next to my bed, tossing the frame, and I cried.
I don’t know why..maybe with relief, maybe with remembering…but this flood gate was a necessary kick in the ass. I started ripping through the apartment, decorating, cleaning, unpacking, reorganizing… I found books I forgot about. Precious bits and pieces that made up who I was. As I unpacked..I felt more and more proud about my little in law apartment. It was mine. MINE. I paid for it. It was my space to enjoy for a few months, that I earned with my money.
I still look forward to moving in with Kane and our life together…how can I not? I’m madly in love with the man.. but I was once again trying to rush things. I was running over broken bits of myself, rushing to my future without acknowledging the present. I could enjoy weekends together as a special treat, and nights together as a blessing and not a give in. I could take pride in my little space and remember who I was.
Thus the flipping through the pagan books again, where I found the Mabon poem that struck a chord. Running, rushing life, solves nothing. People my age talk about when they were children wishing to be adults, and how they would give anything to go back. I’m guilty of this as well, ten was a damn good year for me… People my age don’t seem to learn easily. Here we are in our twenties and so many of us are rushing into our thirties. We wish to be teenagers when we’re children. As teenagers we want to be in our twenties. When we are in our twenties and have the freedom we longed for in our teens we yearn for the stability of our thirties. In our thirties we yearn for the sureness of who we are that comes with our forties, and in our forties we long for the wisdom that comes in our fifties. In our fifties we want the peace that comes with our sixties, and so on and so fourth..you get it.
My name is Rena. I am twenty three years old, and still in the maiden stage of my life. I want to be a mother someday within the next three to five years. I want to be a wife. I want to be a partner. But I am a girlfriend and a submissive. I’m an artist with a vagabond’s soul that loves to explore new places, on my own and with the man I love.
I will learn from my past, relish my present, and look forward to my future without longing for it. Because while the present is not easy, it’s still pretty damn good.
Yours with an ALMOST unpacked apartment.