Thursday, 31 December 2015
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the Light gets in."
- Leonard Cohen
Ringing in the New Year, y'all.
I started 2015 knowing something wasn't right. I felt it in my bones. I asked for space and was met with resentment. I stated my needs and held my ground. I could feel my life breaking, cracking, crumbling into grist. I started thinking it was me and how much I hated myself. I friend posted something about how mother photographers are always behind the camera and their children don't have a record of their own mother. I started taking selfies.
What I didn't know was that this project, a selfie a day, would become a record of my grief. My husband of 17 years asked for a divorce in April, or rather informed me that it was what I wanted. I wanted, begged for counselling instead.
In the wake of that world shattering, gifts started showing up at my metaphorical doorstep. An invitation to AWP, a fellowship in Prague, a job offer in Savannah, an offer to buy my antiques, a good lawyer, publication offers, friends holding space for me, another fellowship. As I was wading through the grief and rebuilding my own life, these things brought me small joys and more importantly something to keep me busy and getting up out of bed in the morning.
My sorrows compounded because of other people's choices that were out of my control. It was like driving through a torrential rainstorm with traffic all around. Do I pull off the shoulder? Do I trust that others are in control of their 1000+ lbs of steel? Do I crash? Will there be a flash flood? Panic. Hold on. Cry a little or a lot.
And then the rain stops. All that's left is wet road and darkness, the stead thumping of the road beneath tires and a warm engine. Maybe there is even a rainbow. Maybe you are in Nashville now.
And finally, on Christmas Day, under the full moon in South Carolina, I held my sorrows in my hand and blew them with a kiss into the Atlantic Ocean. This mermaid is no longer landlocked. This is my offering. My grief.