WHERE YOU ARE

SOMEWHERE I DON'T KNOW, FEBRUARY 2020

***

A few weeks ago for Valentines Day, I took part in a cacao ceremony. There was meditation and love-spells and oracle card reading and of course, cacao sipping. It was both beautiful and spiritually powerful. My friend who hosted the ritual later mentioned to me that she felt as if the cacao cracked her heart right open. And, well, that’s exactly it. 

 

In the more eloquent words of my wonderful friend Tamara, I feel as if my heart has been cracked wide open. 

 

And it’s been dizzying. My doctor even has me taking sea-sickness tablets. Tears have been falling and sickness has me overcome, seemingly all of a sudden. Seemingly after having been doing okay for so long. I am only now putting two and two together that I might just be experiencing a deep (note, necessary) release. That in that circle those evenings ago, holding hands with a bunch of women ready to reach within themselves for healing and love, I was given the space to begin an emptying. I am hurting and anxious and lost after a prolonged period of surprising strength. I am struggling to say the least, but can also recognise this emptying is imperative. You cannot rebuild a house on shaky foundations.

 

And so I want to continue on with the pursuit of ‘emptying’. I want to release some of the thoughts and observations I’ve made about love (possibly more heartbreak) over the last month or so and let them set me free…

 

***

They say that time heals but I think maybe, at least initially, it paralyses. When you move further away from what broke your heart, it becomes harder to hold onto. And all you want is to hold on. All you want is to hold onto any which strand you possibly can. To that person. To that love. To that feeling. Even though it hurts, holding on is your lifeline, your confirmation that it once existed. All you want is to remember what once was. Distance and time make memories fade — the bad, sure, but also the good. Wounds become scars. People stop asking whether you are okay because you are only allowed to use a certain quota of which you’re not. And healing, somewhere in the heed of it all, is neither the thing you want nor the thing (for the sake of your own sanity) you can be without.

 

Because when somebody is no longer in your life, you have a very short window of time whereby you can picture them doing the things that make up the image you have of them — who you know them to be. Their job, routines, house. Because before long, those images move on. They change jobs, make new friends, move to a new town. And when they do, when you can no longer see them in their life, you are hit with the reality that they are gone. You have to mourn, over and over. You become consumed with the ‘where are they now?’s, the ‘do they still hang around the same people?’, ‘do they still buy the same beer from the garage on the walk home?’

 

Someday soon, the photographs you've stored of them in your mind will expire and become a part of fiction. The more time that passes, who they are becomes more a figment of your imagination rather than a recollection of truth. 

 

It’s probably why I have written more in the past few months than ever before. Vignettes of day trips gone by and chance encounters. A lot of people consider writing to be a catharsis but for me, it’s more a ‘making a case for my truth’. To remember. To never have to be held hostage by the lessening that time presses upon intensity, ecstasy, love… I want to be able to look back and see the lineage in which things have come to be and the motions in which I have experienced them.

 

I like writing my newsletter every two weeks in particular because it gives me enough time to digest an idea. To try and understand it. Two weeks ago I knew I’d write about heartbreak in my next letter but only two days ago did I put it together about the cacao ceremony undoing me to such vulnerability. I am figuring things out in real-time, alongside you, with you, and it’s nice. They always say to never write about things you haven’t yet healed through and I agree with that advice 99.9% of the time but there is something so intoxicating to me about being so truthful in this space, fully aware that what I say one week might not ring true for me the next. I am a human with complexities and contradiction, like the rest.

 

In the words of Zadie Smith:

“ideological inconsistency is practically my doctrine — a discourse on what I once believed, what I understand now, and how I hope to unpack the mental boxes still unknown means I’m forever unfinished business.”

(taken from Laura Jane Williams’ 2016 Memoir Becoming)

Perhaps time does not heal you right away, but much in the way that writing these words do, does it allow you the opportunity for introspection. To join up the dots that eventually allow you to move forwards not defined by your scars but in awe of what they’ve led you to. Perhaps my current lightheadedness is a symptom of there simply being less weighing me down. And that until my body has adjusted to its new mass, I will continue emptying. I will continue shedding, knowing that I’m giving myself so much room for new thoughts to arrive.

May we all allow time to give us access to the renewal we need.

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©2020 Esme Rose Marsh. All right's reserved.