Monday, October 27, 2014

the reckoner~

The last few months I went through another terrible bout of writer's block. I had a very small piece published in The Sun literary magazine and the fact they even accepted it surprised me. I think also, putting such a personal part of myself out there really knocked the wind out of me. For a time.
So I'll come clean and tell you the rest. You'll have to excuse my lack of eloquence in my writing here. I feel raw and winded, and a bit gutted.

Moving back to the city of my childhood was not without complication. I've had to revisit certain physical locations repeatedly in order to desensitize myself to the pain. I go into churches to reframe my past. I know I can't change it, but we can reframe it. Oh yes, we can. So I've been working on this art project where I take photos of myself in very particular places doing very particular things I once had to do, juxtaposed with images of myself doing things I want to be and do. And wanted to be and do. It's working. I guess I'm big on self healing. And moving on.

So why did I move back here? The only thing that comes to mind is catharsis. And roots. The only way out is through. 

This summer we made our second baby. Everything was going fine until it wasn't. It was a 'normal' first trimester miscarriage but our loss nonetheless. I wanted a natural miscarriage but it took a long time for it to happen---weeks of waiting after finding out there was no heartbeat. During that time, I went through all five stages of grief, one of which I'm not comfortable with and became so: anger. Fuck, I had a lot of letting go to do. Of mostly fear. And that baby took it with her. All of it. Something lifted, a fog of some sort. Funny how death brings life and vice versa.

I'm supposed to meet my birth father for the first time later this week. He's always gotten cold feet (I think) before. Maybe I did, too. Or maybe I just have a toddler who needs to come first now. The day of reckoning has finally arrived, though. I think I've done a lot of forced reckoning throughout my life---my very existence placing others in awkward positions they eventually need to turn around and face. I'm included in that; it was never one-sided, to be sure. Meeting my birthmother nearly 3 years ago was, of course, life changing. But there was something about it that I always knew. Expected. My birthfather has been a complete and utter surprise every step of the way and I'm not sure what to make of him even now. I think the feeling's mutual. Two intelligent people, maneuvering around each other, carefully reading each other's eyes and minute expressions; it's become a bit of a dance. I want to trust him, I really do. But I'm wary of people like him. Whatever that means now.

You are not to blame
for bittersweet distractors
Dare not speak its name
                              -Reckoner, Radiohead

Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead celebration) is this weekend; where we honor those who've gone before us. And all that we've put behind us--with vibrance and viv--facing the complicated nature of the term "death" and even life. I'll place marigolds with my memories on my ofrenda, marking the circle of the past meeting the present. The present, in my case, will be a meeting with the past.

My childhood best friend is in labor as I type; she is nervous, stalling; a woman with her own hard-fought and won demons. My cycle started earlier than usual and so I bleed alongside her. Catharsis. The only way out is through.