For all the wrong reasons, it’s been a memorable return home… long story short, my apartment was flooded out while I was away. We only discovered it when i opened the door after the 24 hour flight, to be greeted with mould, stench and the detritus of the upstairs neighbours’ lives…
So I’m back at work today, trying to get my head back into the space it was in on the way home, where i wrote notes to myself about writing poetry on the walls of the city, literally and metaphorically… where my head was filled with imagining different realities and futures into being… where the 24 hours in transit literally flew by with dreaming about parables and glimpses of promise. I’d remembered again why I do this, and why it matters.
I got home, opened my front door and found other things do matter – and while I’d rather the shit didn’t happen, it does [too literally, at times]. Perhaps the best I can hope is that poetry looks better when it’s written on dirty walls, not clean white ones.
[please let that be so]
But my head was spinning last night. I was thinking about coming back to work; the daunting impossibility of that, and how very sad I was that I had lost vision I had last week. And I remembered how on tuesday of last week, jetlagged and exhausted, I stood at the door of my apartment looking at the wreckage that had to be cleared up – and even though the insurance company sent restoration contractors within an hour, I didn’t know where to begin, or what to do, or what to feel, or how to survive the day. The only thing I could think of was to copy what my friends would do: Sue would say ‘just do one thing to begin…’ so we picked up a rug and threw it out. Jane would say, ‘we all need something to remind us of beauty’, so I went down the street and bought flowers to put in the kitchen. Maryanne would say, ‘coffee?’, so we stopped, often, and made some. Nadia would swear and say ‘pray’. I swore a lot, but couldn’t pray, so I emailed her and told her to for me. Jonny would take photos, so I did as well.
[i won’t show you those, though – instead, these photos were taken from the balcony of my temporary apartment after I moved in on Friday…]
I was thinking about that again last night – that sometimes we need to pretend we are someone else, to practice life as they would, in order to become who we are. That sometimes there are moments when who we are is lost, and all that is left is to act our way into being.
So this afternoon as I sit here at work, wondering where the hell to begin, I’m remembering the people who have inspired me over the last few weeks and months. I’m using their courage and imagination as my own… and I’m holding faith that i’ll act my way into being me again.
So this is for everyone else who is today wondering how to survive. If it helps, i have faith that you will.
take a moment
in honour of who you are not
in honour of the courage and grace borrowed from another source:
may it be made your own
in the act of trying
and may you be made your own