Thursday, August 2, 2012

Landmarks

I have been awash, away.
A river of cardboard boxes, paint rollers, memories, plans.
I have been wandering aimlessly crosscurrent, barking my shins on the newness of things.
At some point I picked up my feet and let the current take me where it would.

It has taken me away.
Away from endless words and constructions of small sentence empires.
Away from the interior decoration of my own skull and into the other muscles in my frame.
The ones that scoot and lift and tote and adjust and fold and hang and sweep away the debris of change.

My words have leaked outward into the necessary conversations of conversion to a new locale.
The words to comfort, soothe and share excitement with tiny people overwhelmed.
The words for new things - that bit of hardware that holds a drawer in place, the properties of machines that cut grass, the jargon, syntax, rhythm, grammar of finding a toothbrush, a cherished doll, a clean pair of socks.

I have floated and tossed, awash, away on the strength of will to do this one last thing before I sleep.
My life preservers of ibuprofen, glucosamine, chondroitin, tied together with an Ace bandage to hold in the tiny screams of old injury - they float with me, crashing into the mattress every night to sleep with mouth agape, arms outflung, dreamless and sinking, sinking, sinking like a well-tossed stone.

My life preservers in the daylight hours besides an endless stream of coffee are the crooked smiles and still-small hands that seek comfort in my own, the strong back and quiet patience of a man who rises early, works a day, comes home and works another day again before he gets to sleep beside me.

I have been awash for days, neglecting things that matter for things that matter more.
I have come ashore in a new place, different from where I started, but my senses remember this is a place I've stood so many times before.
I have come ashore with creaking joints and have prized apart my rusted chest of words. It screams and groans with the effort and resists the light of day.
I tire with the effort and make excuses to walk away, to leave it where it sits, to convince myself it does not contain treasure but only silt and slime and small dead fish who lost their way.

I have sat on this stubborn, heavy trunk I carry with me everywhere I go and gazed into the foggy night of acquiescence and there, like beacons in the distance, a steady winking string of lights that flash and catch my eye. These are landmarks I know, they are the presence of a familiar, comforting path, not so far away as it feels.

These are landmarks. These are you. Your words. You continue through the night. Your struggles, preoccupations, triumphs, mundane - they are not mine, but they continue on simultaneous, steady and intermittent, the blips on sonar that show the contours of a shoreline that I've been drifting right beside.
They are you.
Standing there and patiently blinking until I realize I'm not drifting.
I'm tethered not so far from shore.


This is dedicated to the loyal readers and writers who have inexplicably shared this whole writing escapade with me thus far. With special thoughts for Deb at Kicking Corners who is working down to a final deadline and asked for others to share what inspires us along the way. Without a doubt, my inspiration comes from all of you. You who read and share and believe what I sometimes find impossible - that I can do this writing thing. You who write and share and say amazing things in ways that I never even considered before. I love this cacophony of voices more than I can say.

23 comments:

  1. Oh, that hit me right in the gut. You are a breath of air.

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    1. I'm glad that the sucker punch didn't knock the air out of you completely. You are always so very kind.

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  2. I missed you and your words.Very much.

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  3. Welcome back!! : ) Have been wondering about your journey. I hope you have a fitting cape and crown for tour sentence empires, you deserve them and more.
    How beautiful that you acknowledge our children and husband the way you do, I loved that... people don't always honor the patient, hardworking souls among us, and those small trusting hands made me smile big and happy.
    Take care of your body. Maybe you never be far form excellent coffee. Enjoy every sleep. Your words are clearly still at your command! Awesome news for me as a reader.

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    1. My cape and crown consist of cut-offs and bedhead. Perfectly suited to me. So glad to hear from you and see that such kind, familiar faces are still around.

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  4. You bring me to tears again, Lou. Tears of joy at the return of your words to my soul, tears of somehow unexplainable, yet perfectly reasonable friendships. Tears of recognition. Perhaps tears of exhaustion, too. :-) You are never too far adrift.

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  5. Oh TangledLou, how I missed you. Thank you for your special thoughts, and then for the lovely pictures you create, the rhythm you use, so that we wash away, then back again, with you. You're definitely one of the people who deeply inspire me. My heart is full.

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    1. Thank you so much for inspiring this little inspiration project. It was exactly what I needed to get back in the saddle.

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  6. 'These are landmarks. These are you. Your words'

    You are one of my landmarks! You have such a beautiful way of describing your unpacking I am almost there with you! You have not neglected anything that can't wait for a while until you settle your family into your home. I hope you are as happy as you seem in your posts, tired, achy but happy!


    Glad we are both back :-)

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    1. Very happy, indeed. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad we both are back, too.

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  7. I am so glad you are back. The shore was not as interesting without you.

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  8. Your rusted chest contains the greatest treasure, all gold and shiny. So glad you're sharing it with us again.

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  9. Sometimes I wonder if you even know how incredibly lovely your voice is - that voice that is ever present when you write? I want to be jealous and I can't be because every word is as unpretentious and wonderfully loving as I know you are. I don't even know if that makes sense.

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    1. What she said. #sosyerface

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    2. You ladies just take my breath away sometimes.

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  10. A bit of an irony: I don't have the words to say how much I really needed to read this today (so long after it was actually posted). Every time I wander away from writing even for a little while, it's like I have to relearn it all over again--not the mechanics so much, just the purpose, the motivation. Thanks for sharing, thanks for coming back.

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    1. The motivation is the hardest part, yes? It's not even the "Oh, I don't feel like writing" kind of motivation. It's the "Is it really necessary to indulge myself so?" kind of motivation. I'm glad you're back, too.

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!