I hadn’t not been whole, I guess. I had all the parts, had put them together in different ways, knit two ends into a circle, held in one palm. I had manufactured togetherness, believed in otherness, and held fast to my aloneness.

The plan for me was to finally figure it out. Once and for all keep the ends from fraying, the bag from spilling, the air nutmeg warm and shimmering. I was going to get there. By going back to all the theres.

I began with a collection of moleskin journals, elephant gray. A journal that wouldn’t forget. I started with the earliest place I remember living and wrote out what I remembered in categories; favorite foods, music, tv shows and movies, and in one small corner I saved a space for the things I didn’t want to write about, in the journal that didn’t forget. And then I wrote it down.

The journals I kept as hidden as the last space I filled in.

I believed I would end this quest finding redemption, resolution, the shame written in the smallest corner of the page spinning it’s way to freedom.

It would take four years. Two countries. Two states and two provinces. And many grey moleskin journals to help me not forget.

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