Saturday, October 29, 2016

New Mexico.

I went to New Mexico.  It was two summers ago.
I shouldn't write about it like it's something monumental... Not now...
But when she is here, I remember, and I think about that time.  It was different than her being here, at this house.  I'm remembering, now.  Looking back.

I went to New Mexico because my sister was there.  I needed her: I admitted and acted upon that feeling. She needed me:  I had known that for years.

It was two years ago, yes.  It was August.  She and I were there, in the middle of the Southwest, far away from Vermont, and it felt like we were ourselves, and we were sisters, and we were all we should be... together.

I had never flown in a plane alone before.  I was scared.  I didn't think I could do anything by myself anymore.  I had become what I ought to be:  I was a mommy.  I was a wife.  I was a mother.  I was a housewife.  I was a stay-at-home-mom.  Ought that have been my life?  I was a teacher before that.  I was a sister.  I was a daughter.  I was a granddaughter.  I was an artist, and a reader, and a writer, and a lover, and a liver.  I mean, I lived. I felt alive.  I was a woman.  I was a woman.

Not a piece of meat.  Not an organ.  Not a category.  Not a peg.  I didn't fit into one hole.  I was never that kind of girl.  I was a dream. I dreamed.

New Mexico is the "Land of Enchantment."  It's so beautiful.  It is a land of dreams.  It looks like a dream.  I mean, it felt like a dream on my skin and in my mouth.  It felt like a dream, drowning all my senses.  I had never seen anything like New Mexico in my life.  Seeing something so new, so different, so scary and beautiful is jarring.  It is a shock to any system.  It is electrifying.  It stimulates.

And I never knew all those nerves that were zinging and zapping.  I didn't know how to feel that way.  I didn't know how to live that way.  I didn't know a life like that.  I didn't think I should know it.  I didn't think I was supposed to know any of it.  And I was scared to feel any of it.

New Mexico.

How life changed for me after that.  I guess it just confused.  I just became confused.  I didn't want to leave. Honestly, I didn't want to go home!  I wanted to stay with my sister!  I wanted to stay with my little sister.  I wanted to be a part of all the next parts of her life there.  It felt like I was supposed to be there, and know what to do next. I was flying away from her new adobe rental. I was convinced I was supposed to caulk her bathtub/shower there, and I knew how to build an enclosure around the water heater, and I knew what to do to make her bedroom cozy, and the living room just right, and the kitchen livable...

Or I was supposed to help the Fretwell's make space for her... the upstairs, glassed in porch... I was supposed to make her a space there, and help Zeno make room... because that's what Craig, his dad, would have wanted. He had shoved stuff into that space to get it out of the way.  It was convenient storage, not sentimental... He would have wanted to make room for Mikhaila in that stone house in Las Vegas, NM.  God.  I wasn't supposed to leave before I had done all those things... but I did leave.  I left.

It was almost September. My twins were starting school.  I had to be in Vermont.  And Mikhaila was just starting her college classes.  I was distracted.  I was pulled away.  Not by Vermont.  I was pulled away because I was not confident enough to know I was capable and worthy on my own.  As soon as someone, anyone who seemed consequential, made me feel like I wasn't strong enough to do anything by myself...  I listened.

I can't explain why I have always listened to everyone but myself, for several years, now, but that's what I have done.  I look around for someone to tell me what to do.  I look for someone who knows what the fuck is going on... I mean, I don't feel like I know what the fuck's going on, really.  I really don't.

That makes me sick, that I listen and need someone to tell me what to do.  If anyone, looking back at my life, my little sister should be the one who knows me best of all and most of all and I should trust her.  She always, always says:  "You are strong.  You are Joanna!"

My sissy and I, we should both be, (and have always been), a wall of strength and power.
We are strong and powerful, especially together.  But I think we both quietly wonder if we are any of that stuff.  I know we both hesitate and think:  "Can I? Can we?"

Yes we could.  But we haven't, I know.  We have stopped short, pulled the emergency brake, and skidded to a stop with our eyes closed.  We open one eye at a time and say, "Oh, phew."

"Wow, we're still alive."

Like we wouldn't be... Like we should only just be relieved... When, truly, we should have our boots on the gas pedal, with the windows down.

It's okay if we are laughing when the wind whips through our hair and makes us feel disoriented.  We are still driving.  And It's okay if we stop, if it is to dance in the dawn sunshine.  It's not just okay:  It's good if we dance in the early morning sunshine.  It's nice to be awake and feel the warmth and headiness.  We can feel dizzy in fear, but freedom.

Our long shadows dance with us.  We don't need anybody else.  Not to live.  Not to breathe.  I mean, no one person should need someone else to help them live and breathe.  Not me.  Not her.  Not nobody.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Is there always a when?

You know the questions: "When will it happen?  When will that change?  When will it grow?  When will it explode?  When will he call me?  When will she write back?  When will I feel better?  When will I know..."  They are endless, the questions.  When?!  

We ask over and over, (to ourselves, to God, to others), these questions, based on expectation and hope that something is going to happen...  Because we still have faith.

Hey.  Let me tell you something...  Maybe it's just never, sometimes.  Maybe there isn't always a when, but instead nothing.
And being human, even when nothing comes to us, we still end up looking for an explanation of why not... why it never will...  We can't stop asking questions.  We can't stop wanting an answer.  I know I can't.

But part of me, the dark, lonely, depressed part of me understands that maybe it's just an empty, condemning thud--A steel door, with an airtight seal, that can't be opened again. No questions asked.  Just stop asking fucking questions.

Maybe it's just the way it is.

For some things, some people, some situations,  there is no answer, no solution, no change... nothing. There is no future.  There is no when. 
It's what it is.  
"It is what is it," people say.  

Wow, I sound so well adjusted, when I write about this thing... the understanding we can't control all things.

But I am not.  I am not a person who has ever been well-adjusted in any way.  I have never accepted an obviously impenetrable door, once it is closed, to be shut in my face.  I try to stop it from shutting, throwing my shoulder against it and pushing against it with all my strength.  Then I kick it and scream at it.  
I scream, because I keep believing that it's only a matter of when someone finally comes and opens it.

I lean against it and cry, thinking "When will you hear me calling to you? When will you open it?"

And no matter how exhausted i become... years... and I get so tired... I never stop thinking that there is a someday....  a, "now."  

Now, Joanna.