Almost nine months ago, I left a city in southern Spain that had become my home. Since time seemed to move so lusciously, and so slowly there I can hardly believe I’ve been back in the states for three quarters of a year. Half of me, or more than that, is still often there. It would feel so refreshing to write a post filled with vitality and excitement about what’s happening here in Denver. And there is a lot happening. But time and age will heal us if we let them, and will teach us that vitality sometimes only comes through doing the work that’s vital for us in any given moment. Mine is learning to befriend my weeping, to stay awake in the razor’s edge of longing without reaching for relief, to tell a friend who thinks I’m “together” that I’m actually quite sure I’m falling apart. No one can predict how a personal transition will unfold for us, although we like to imagine there are evenly structured lines and stages. Even Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the creator of Stages of Grief, fought and screamed as her own body moved toward dying. As much as I’d like to see myself as a more worldly and widely trekked soul after living in Spain, what I see right now is merely a decision to allow this pain to overwhelm me. It doesn’t fit my westernized view of resolution at all, but at some mysterious point, the only way out of pain, is through it.
I miss the water in Spain
with every hair on my head.
The curled waves unraveling
themselves to make their white spools,
all tumbling gently toward our walking feet;
I said it was a reverent process.
It was how I wanted to come to you.
But my spools and yours
were wound so tight.
We missed our soft unfurlings,
couldn’t feel our own feet walking.
You wanted to carry me, or I you.
It was an alluring, heavy habit.
Now, with every flutter of my feet
touching water, I miss the hope
I had for us.
With every walk to somewhere new,
I marvel at the work it takes.
-Jennifer L. Sandberg