I am beginning to understand the weight of wild things, why someone else’s all is never enough for the endings we seek. The end to our suffering, the end to believing we do not fill up the skin of our life in ways that make us stretch toward the beauty that lands on the swirled shell of our truest self. What we want is that someone else’s everything matches the need of our many one things. That someone else must forever be in their best self to somehow protect our worst.

I am beginning to tell myself it’s okay that it wasn’t enough for them and it’s okay that it was everything for me. My all was not their ending, my efforts didn’t reach the line of their expectations.

I wonder why it is so hard to believe that someone else’s best day does not fit in with our worst. That someone’s history of pain and panic does not align with the need to avoid ours. How is it that we put others on pedestals or in prisons designed for one and then think ourselves in circles about why they aren’t more like us? Why do they not do what we need them to do to make what we do feel better? In that gap there is either grace or a gawking disbelieving script of ‘can you believe it’? The endless circle of our own need for validation signed by the pen we placed in their distracted hand.

This did not seem fair and yet my world was filled with these solitary confinements in the city of my wanting and my indifference. My steps ahead chased my parts that lagged behind in the hope there was someone out there better than me who could smooth the pained edges that kept bumping into the worst of me. I was both the creator and crated, assigned to these solitary spaces I then made comfortable enough to stay.

The key to these small spaces was held in my clenched hand, and the way to open that hand was to first open the other one. To reach with that open hand beyond the bars of my own agreement and touch the steel of someone else’s and say yes, yes I understand in the waiting for someone to save us. That clattering release of the other handed key could open the doors for us both.

In order to do the next thing, you might just need to grieve the last thing. In order to grieve the last thing, it needs to belong to you.

It wasn’t what someone else failed to do for me that brought me here, it was what I failed to look toward, my book of bereft grievances held tightly in my one free hand, the one that could have connected, the one that stayed cold and even calculated in its grip.

When I moved north from those gold hued campus mountains, I knew when I first came out of the canyon to the valley farmlands that I would love this place I stayed for the next year or two. It was lush and kind in its long snowfalls and summer sounded late nights.

The next trip to my last selves ended here, at the higher end of the state. Green treed and cold high mountains guiding me back to where I lived for a time, where I started my next family, with the one who partners me still. Living in a lovely little townhouse filled with our newly knowing each other fighting that is so funny and foreign to us now.

When I returned the first word that I felt was family. This was where it began, the beginnings of my own small circle who I will end my days with, some of them waiting in the car as I walked by the place they collectively started. The word I took with me was the thing any of us need to continue to look toward the only one who can uncreate our prisons and pedestals, the one who needs a certain measure of it to begin and keep the relentless turning back toward the one who can save you.


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