In another life, we moved as one with the pull of wintertide. it was warm and nothing hurt. We were the eye of the storm. Hurricanes never swallowed cities whole and winds never howled something so awful. We foraged a life in Venice. We roamed courtyards and romanticized the stucco with ivory & gypsum & pillars carved from salt and tusk. The world was a ballet; every sunset an accordion hymn symphony playing out for our eyes alone. The light. The light was stunning. Prismatic. Us; we were prismatic, and so happy to be there. Our spare hours were spent, huddled in the underbelly of an orchard, our backs satisfyingly sore against the cragged bark of willow trees. We scooped out pomegranates with our bare hands and ate the seeds like we wanted the world to crack beneath the weight of our desires. Like we wanted to stay.We wanted to stay.
Today I awoke to a chickadee singing soliloquy at my window. I drifted out to him, not minding much to the cold. After too long, your lungs numb out. Like a lot of things in life, you numb out and become another patch of soft grey; another chickadee calling, calling, at the ice-capped window. So I steeled myself against the unwilling wind, and I imagined blood rushing to my cheeks, blooming red like roses through tundra. I imagined that the cold wasn't harsh on my skin, that the sound of my soles against snow wasn't a churning in my stomach. And before long, I found myself in a place I know too well; a spot in the woods I come to often in the warmer days of summer. I tried to picture it as it was, not too many months ago, when the topiary was green and woven across the sky like lace and the sun would shine down through pinholes in the fabric. How drastically the tape can change when given time and stillness, I thought. And I stared into the deafening white, thinking and thinking. Thinking about a poem that a friend wrote for me, calling me a 'gypsum heartbreak,' and a 'hurricane of swan feathers.' It struck a chord, as that's exactly how my thoughts were at that moment; a hurricane of feathers floating by but never touching my skin. And I thought; thought what it would look like if we all wore our hearts on our sleeves, and what kind of birds we would attract with the truth and blood. I've been trying to be more open. Especially on here, which is incredibly hard to do when I have a thousand something strangers reading my words everyday. It's unreal, really, to think that you're here and I'm here and all of these truths are laid out before us.
And so I sat like that, thinking, until the soliloquy rang true. Until I resaw how beautiful the world was while still unraveled and so open.
And lately, I've been thinking a lot. Sometimes I lay my head to the floor and listen to the footsteps echoing through the stairwell and compare the pulse of this house to all the heartbeats I've heard and wonder if it ever misses those who have come and gone. I wonder if it ever feels rooted wrong, like someone built it on a land it didn't belong. I wonder if that's why chickadees build nests; because home is something you harbor within. Because home is, sometimes, behind ribcages and in the palms of other people's hands. So I play Mountain Man on repeat until their voices melt together into a soft, grey streak. Until the words anchor into my stomach, growing like ivy up my trellis chest. They linger twisted along heartstrings, limbs on limbs on branches lying bare and I feel whole again, like I'm not missing out on an entire world, even though I am. I think about places I have yet to see, the language in their soil. I can recognize it even when I'm not there to hear it myself.