A testimony

We discuss it over cups of tea stolen in short hours between me running off to work or to pack for what feels like the last time. We speak as if for the first time. You say you’ve turned it over in your head, and of course, the root of all this is fear. What else could turn something good so ugly, so quietly. Fear is the monster hiding under all our beds. At the heart of all of it, bargaining behaviors for love, taking unearned lashes on our shoulders, flights to opposite ends of the world. It feels like an unlooked-for blessing, but, of course, she would be here. What I know of love, I know from her.

Here is another January, another crop of blossoms that did not take last year but may this time around. There are the usual clothes to fold away, take along or discard. There is a man with a heart like something I’d like to gulp down in a home somewhere with a garden full of trees. There is so much on the other side of fear, as my sister promised there would be. There is chocolate and coffee from a Thai man with a beard and secrets told in the pool with a brother like a gift and arguments and laughter and yes, there is something holy in all of it. Something like blood, but not the kind I once shied so far from.

It seems as good a time as any to write the way I knew I would one day come back to, and start from. People say there is hope and change in the air, and I am so deeply in love with all of them, which perhaps is, has always been, the root of it all. I cannot help but love the blue; the daytime-hearts and simple truths and hard-edged hopes of the world. Like California, like the sun every morning through an uncurtained window, this was always here. I was always here.

I unlace ribbons my mother in another life painstakingly wound and I think of so much, and how there is so much in this world that I will still find to think about. The way the sun came into being and why cells stop replenishing at 25 and how it can be beautiful and tender and yet cruel, and not last forever and still be worth more than if it did.

There will be new pains, and this time we will choose them for ourselves.

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