Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shadows & Yellow: The Work of Being Alone



(There are days when the tunnel is the work. And the light at the end is very very far away. There are also days when the tunnel closes in and days when it expands. I am learning to live in it. To make a home out of its long crushing silence.)



(Sometimes I get lost and feel as if everything feels like this sign posting. I worry about the future, my people, my work, my world, and get the blues. Then I have to keep going. Nod to the sign, acknowledge the sign, and keep going.)




(Then, some days, it's all so sun colored and yellow that I can hardly bear the beauty. I always think of my stepmom Cynthia, gone almost a year now, who said, "may I suggest yellow?" in the days before she left. Yellow, yes. So much yellow it grows right out of my skin.)



(I suppose we are all shadow and light. How the world moves inside of us. How we move inside of it. These small orbital selves we call our own. My shadow is much longer than me, it goes on without me too. Sometimes my shadow thinks I am its reflection.)

It's been almost four months since I moved out to the Valley of the Moon for the year to write. So much has changed, unraveled, and opened.

Here's a list of things that are different:

1. I no longer feel bad about not going out on the weekends, it's actually lovely to be in my PJ's directly after the sun goes down.
2. I go for a long walk or hike almost everyday. And now I am learning the names of things. The understory of the valley is rich and lively and the birds are funny and make funny sounds.
3. I am alone more than I am with people. The voice in my head is getting stronger, sometimes weirder, but stronger.
4. I'm a better driver and I can check my fluids and park on hills.
5. The story I am writing is changing, it's going strong, but changing. And I am learning to follow it, not force it.
6. I find myself rushing places to make sure I'm there for the sunset, as if it's a train that's leaving.
7. Being alone in the woods can be scary. My brain is full of dark things, even at peace.
8. I travel a lot. But I love the long stretches on the mountain, especially if my man is here with me.
9. People have been very generous and supportive, it makes me want to burst out of my skin.
10. Poems and stories come from different places. Poems rush in and howl like a coyote, stories are like being stalked by a mountain lion (or you're stalking the mountain lion. You're never sure which).

4 comments:

james claffey said...

it's a wonderful world there! the photographs are magic, too.

southwestrose said...

That is so beautiful, You are so inspiring, and an introvert like me.
this is stefanie from college btw

Nicole Callihan said...

I've always loved chasing sunsets. I spent the summer before I moved to NYC doing just that--chasing sunsets, counting shooting stars, sitting on rainbows. Sometimes I wonder why I gave up all that. Glad to know they're still there and they have you to capture them. Missing you in Brooklyn.

Denverette said...

Gosh, this was just lovely to read very early in the morning. Wishing you all the best. Always looking to the next thing you offer.