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via Caitidid Designs and Susannah Conway

Lately I’ve been trying to write a post about love, about longing and ache and loss. I’ve been trying to formulate sentences in my head about the emotions, the struggles, the anger and fear. I’ve been trying to write about the deep loneliness hiding at the edges of my eyes, like the vignetting of light leaks in a Diana image, tinging every moment with shadow. I’ve been trying to excavate the stones of agony, the boulders covering that tiny, fragile doorway into my own being.

And then I watched this video.

Having been offline for a few days, I missed it’s early entry into viral, but both Caiti and Susannah (thankfully) posted it, so I could not avoid it in my reader feed.

Tanya Davis‘s voice and words broke me open. I don’t think I made it through 30 seconds of this life-changing video before I was sobbing. This is exactly what I was need to break me open (this, and a lot of hugs, which will take much longer to procure). I realized the words in my head are not so important they need to be rushed. I trust that, with time and tenderness and coaxing, I will find my voice.

I was a poet, once. Endless words spilled from my mouth like droplets of dew. I could not be bothered to eat or sleep for fear of missing the sounds in my head, my hands, my journal. I wrote with fervor. I wrote until I was split wide and raw. I wrote beyond that moment to the next, and the next, until I was simply a shell of my self. And then I wrote to fill myself up. Stuffing deeper and deeper, fuller and fuller until I could barely breathe, my chest and lungs overflowing with language. It was time to exhale, each sigh releasing more words onto the page. Every moment was made of words. Every beat of my heart a new line.

And then they left. Or, rather, I left them.

The words have been gone for years, now. Each inhale feels hollow, each exhale not quite complete. My belly is never quite satisfied with food and drink. My chest aches, as though my lungs are not expanding in full. Months pass like micro-seconds, time not having weight and meaning, years stretching into eternity; the discord between these experiences leaves me in a dream and an endless hourglass. I cannot reach beyond my own experience, and yet I am continually bombarded with the thoughts and feelings of others.

I long for a cabin on a bluff, the sea crashing against the rocks below. I long for a notebook and pen, a good cup of tea, and the inability to escape myself. I long for the moment when I will not leave myself behind, not turn my back on the only person I know will always be here for me. I long for the quiet of an early morning, the sand wet between my toes, the sun unbelievably bright against my eyes. I long for the solitude of an owl’s hoot, the long goodbye of an eagle’s cry.

In these moments, when I remember the poet I once was, I cry a little inside. And make a promise to find her, lurking in the shadows of a cavern by the sea, longing for me to climb down the rocky staircase when the tide is low and bring her home into my heart.