Starting over

I’m starting this again after three years.  Which feels like trying to walk again, everything alien and contrived and overextended, even this early in the game.

I need to get back into the pattern of writing and pretending that I am writing for an audience.  But it is so very strange to look back at entries from even just a few years ago.  I recognize the voice still but tire at the lack of capitalization now.  Smacks of high school me (even though I did it up through only the recent past… we always like to pretend that our past is further behind us than it is).

Speaking of high school, college, early years out of college, that swath of what felt pre-adult: today was the first evening after living by myself again that I felt restless.  That I didn’t have an immediate project at hand (building furniture, busily looking at furniture online to buy, work project, etc).  I felt bored and boring, but the effort of reaching out to anyone was too much, especially when I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I tried watching Grey Gardens (I’d never seen it) and couldn’t focus.  I tried listening to a podcast while wandering around my apartment seeing if there were small tasks that I could do, and there wasn’t, really.  A book felt like giving up to solitude a little too much.  A few potential writing topics loomed and still loom and I don’t feel ready yet.  It is now light past 7pm which makes the evening stare me in the face and dare me to do something meaningful with my life, at least for another 90 minutes.

So I went for what ended up being a long walk in semi-rainy weather, with songs stuck in my head and feeling vaguely wistful and melancholy in an unrooted way.  I thought of all the other long evening walks in semi-rainy weather that I took before dating Kevin, walks that felt somewhat meaningful for no other reason than that I had mixed emotions and was walking in wet air.

There was a moment on my way back, coming down Queen Anne hill and suddenly seeing Elliot Bay in front of me in the distance, when there was a shock of recognition.  You’ve been here the whole time, I thought.  And tears actually came to my eyes, seeing the water there, massive and steady and distant, a counterbalance that I had forgotten existed.

And then turning west onto the street where I live, somehow the sky had managed to go mauve and rose and grey and caught me completely by surprise.  I thought for a moment of taking a picture and realized that there would be no point.  The moment was here, the sky behind telephone lines and transit cables, and the camera would not see what I saw.  No one else would see what I saw.

Which is a reminder of how much other people (strangers on the bus, strangers huddled on the sidewalk with their belongings surrounding them) will see and never share with anyone else in this world.  Most moments can’t be shared.  They are barely even moments except for the thought that sometimes chimes during them of “No one else will ever see this exactly as I do right now”.  That is all that is memorable.

And that’s it.  I decided that I’d write something down about that on this blog to get me walking again.  I finally answered emails that had been left unanswered for far too long.

My life is not going to change; or rather, any one change is going to be tiny amidst the massive glacial changes that are already happening, and happening too slow. But I hope that this keeps going.

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One thought on “Starting over

  1. I can definitely identify with the idea that moments cannot truly be shared—not in the way they make you feel or remind you of other moments that only you are privy to in your head. It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past (in the sense that I’ve tried and been frustrated with the impossible task of “showing” it to someone else) but I’ve learned to appreciate them for my sake in the present. And it reminds me to empathize with others’ idiosyncrasies, too. It can be difficult as I tend to live in the past or potential prospects in the future, but what is the point of getting older if not for learning to get better at (or at least, getting better at putting up with) things you’re not good at?

    Welcome back.

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