A folded corner of a page in your life

I look under D for Didion in biographies, but find The Writing Life instead. The title draws me in, and then closer, as I open to a random page and find a half folded Delta boarding ticket someone used as a bookmark.
But you are wrong if you think that in the actual writing, or the actual painting, you are filling in the vision. You cannot fill the vision. You cannot even bring the vision to light. You are wrong if you think that you can in any way take the vision and tame it to the page. The page is jealous and tyrannical; the page is made of time and matter; the page always wins (Dillard, 1989, p. 56).
Closer still, Alexander flew from Portland to JFK airport on April 21st in an unidentifiable year. I picture him seated comfortably somewhere, a beige coat draped over the back of his chair, minutes before boarding call. As he makes his way to his seat and finally sits down, he tucks his ticket in the book and places it on his lap as he looks out the window and runs his palm over the smooth dust jacket. He looks into the distance, seeing particles in between like the stars in a night sky, and floats in and out of memories he can no longer tell apart from past and present.

All I know for certain is that what I feel is real, as real as the floor in this room, the weight of the bones and flesh of my body pressing against it.

Reading on the train, I surprise myself with a sudden laugh as I read a description of a woman watching her husband attempt to shoot down a woodpecker from the roof of their house. I look up from the page and notice the observing eyes of a little girl sitting across, looking at me, then cupping her hands over her mother's ear to whisper something. We make eye contact and she averts her gaze, crosses her legs, impersonating a grown up. I think of what I was like when I was her age, so impatient for life to begin.

This year I've felt more at home in my own skin than I've ever been. Through all the hurt and triumphs, I have finally come to a place of acceptance. I close my eyes and remember walking further and further away on a tear-blurred street, so as not to see or be seen by anyone. It was in the depths of miserable courses, I thought the finish line was nowhere near. Those two long years flew by and concluded the end of my academic endeavors. While finishing my degree is among my greatest achievements of 2019, what I've come to value most are the more personal lessons. 

I learned that time makes room for more beautiful memories that make the painful ones more bearable to live with. That no matter how much you love someone, loving is not enough to carry a relationship into the next chapter of your life and forcing it slows down and spoils the writing. Don't be afraid to let go, it doesn't mean saying goodbye although it feels like that and often times it does.

A flock of swans in the water at night look like ghosts. The couples float alongside one another, their graceful long necks gently touching and rubbing together. If I found them in a book, I would have folded the corner of the page to remember. 

To be a swan in the night is to live forever.


Newsletter

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts via email:

Readers

Attribution

© 2018-present by the author. All writing found on this blog is copyrighted material, unless otherwise referenced, of the author. Use without permission will cause incessant hiccups.