There is a place I have not yet gone, the last home I moved from, a few miles from here, Utah homogenized and church silent, I lived there. The pictures from that time are of a growing baby, my baby, adored and life filling, in a small miners cottage on a road between two unloved places, who I was, and who I would become.
I have a stone, unplaced, waiting to honor that desperate spot I lived, in a mind addled by the arrival of the baby that almost was the death of the body that tried so hard to birth her. And now, in the birthing of this next new real self, I know what this last stage means.
I am familiar with the moments before blood leaves a body, seeping out faster than panicked raised voice staff know how to stem. I know the tide that pulls deliciously under, the green lean into rest and the quiet sacrifice of no more repenting. I know this place, and I know I need to return, my head dropped below my body to stop the release of life everyone around me so valiantly saved.
I was saved for this, for three more glorious turns of motherhood, for partnership that is solid and kind and so everlasting loyal. For family that jump me to my feet in the pure loving of them. For friendships that are tenuous ties to the core of loveliness in this world. For a job that has threatened to pull me under the mind tow oblivion of defeat but has brought me alongside love that is a woven basket of laughter soaked belonging.
Was it ever about wholeness or was it always about the whole of us? I could not find it because I was looking at me, and that wasn’t ever where it lived. It lived in the spaces where our hands touched, our laughter blended, our eyes held across tables and spanned miles of empty air. It was in those who stayed and those who left, the empty spaces of where they used to be the pages I could now write; the stanzas of separation, an unbroken love song, a song of goodbye, of thank you, of I understand.
Could it be these are the places I needed to live, and the people I needed to love and lose to see the self I was?
She was always there, abiding each move, each line of wondering what the next place would hold for her. She was afraid what she believed was true but did not know how to weld all the parts together to be good enough to inhabit the space she apologized for living in. She was small and she was quiet and she was unceasingly bound together by the hope that somewhere there was a mirror that reflected back to her who she was when all her staggered attempts hummed together in the song of her. And she hoped there was a book, not so empty anymore that she would continue to write. Each word a communion, a kneeling head bowed letter from who she had been in every home, to who she was becoming, and how her journey brought her back to what she had always been; whole.