All this time lingers, undefined.
Someone choose who’s left and who’s leaving.
Memory will rust and erode into lists of all that you gave me:
a blanket, some matches, this pain in my chest,
the best parts of Lonely, duct-tape and soldered wires,
new words for old desires,
and every birthday card I threw away.
I wait in 4/4 time,
Count yellow highway lines that you’re relying on to lead you home.
I used to leave first, and now I’m left. I used to go first, and now I’m behind.
When did the most exciting thing to look forward to become something that is not exciting at all? Where is the adventure?
I know that I have to grow older and wiser, that I need to be an adult. But I would very much like to run away on an adventure right now. And not look back.
Take three steps out the door. Don’t forget your toothbrush. Don’t look back. Grab your bag, load the trunk, and drive away. Turn right at the fork. Take the quick way. Show your passport, check your luggage; stand in this line and that one too. Board your plane.
Seat back and tray tables locked; don’t forget to tighten your seat belt.
Don’t breathe too deeply. Don’t wake your neighbour. Don’t even think about peeing.
Take a bus from the airport. Check into your cheap hostel. Don’t forget to lock up your valuables. Take a shower before 6am. Remember your earplugs. Don’t disturb the couple hooking up in the top bunk.
By flashlight, make a list: top ten, free tours, the best restaurants for £10 or less. Dog-ear the pages, study the maps. Remember.
Walk the streets and ride the buses. Mind the gap. Don’t forget to eat lunch.
See the wonders, explore the castles, and don’t forget to take a few pictures. Wear your headphones and listen to songs, but not the ones that bring you home. Don’t look back.
Don’t pick up the phone. Don’t tweet, text, or update. Keep walking. Keep seeing. Keep on.
Take care of yourself. Don’t look back. Don’t look back.
When paddling a canoe with three people, a certain synchronization and rhythm is required. You fall rather seamlessly into a pattern, match your pace with another. A wordless synchronization of bodies, of breath, of thoughts. And I felt present, for the first time in weeks. Knew the moment for what it was, as the breeze kissed my sun-warmed skin, over the quiet dip of a paddle. A moment of synchronicity.
There are moments when we feel more connected, more in sync, than others. Days or hours or minutes in which we remember finding meaning, however briefly. Moments which tie themselves into my life, slip knot, sailor’s, or noose. And you can see the ropes, the strings that bind them together. You can see it as surely as the sun that glitters on the water. You can feel is as surely as the crick in your neck, the sunburn on your legs. You can capture is as easily as the stars that float on the surface of a lake, or the fire that chases the sun behind the clouds.
At what age do couples start thinking that their single friends are hopeless, and must therefore be set up with another single friend - not because they have ANYTHING in common, but because they’re both single?
Oh right, that’s now. The ripe old age of 25.
Seriously, world: “Single” is not the only quality I’m looking for in a partner. How about thinking “I wonder if these two would like each other” instead of “Hmm, well I know a couple of single people… they must be meant to be!”
Children fall well. And often. They skin knees and bruise elbows, but generally they come out rather better than an adult would in the same situation. When children fall, they just fall. They don’t resist as much. They don’t fear as much. Their limbs are looser, they break less bones. Children, and drunk people. They don’t know any better. When adults fall, memories of so much previous pain flash through their heads as they stiffen and fall. Break.
I’ve been taking archery lessons. In the past two weeks, I’ve shot a lot of arrows. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like a badass, when I release that arrow and it shoots into the target with whomp. It wasn’t until my 9th or 10th arrow that I release the bow string and it hit my left arm, stinging and almost immediately bruising. In that moment, I lost some of my badass-ness. My fearlessness. From that moment, every arrow I nocked I paused to overthink where my left elbow was, to wonder if I was going to hit myself again. I told myself I needed to go back to being fearless. Yes, it hurt. But not so much that it should hold me back. It’s a human instinct to avoid pain.
It’s been almost four years since I wrote this post about being afraid to fall. This morning, Lindz and I were talking about my injury, and the children we saw skating a few weeks ago. She said she wished she could still be like that. Fearless.
I wish I could be like that in many aspects of my life, I said.
I feel like with each painful memory, physical or emotional, I close myself off a little more. I find myself wishing for fearlessness. To jump, run, shoot as if it won’t hurt. To live like that, unafraid of pain. Because the pain passes. The bruises fade. Life goes on.
And it would be much more exciting if I were more fearless.