North Avenue Beach- Chicago, September 2009
My skin feels damp. For a moment, despite the fact that I know better, I think that I might be crying despite the fact that I have yet to cry. I realize with relief, and maybe a little frustration, that it is merely the dampness hanging in the air that has evaporated off the water.
I am cold. Shivering, actually, but I refuse to ball up. I let the wind hit me at all odd angles, and watch the goosebumps rise like waves on my arms. I want to just feel it.
Or feel something, really.
The longer I sit here on this hard ass bench, the rougher the waves get. They swell higher, crash harder, cresting and falling over those in front of it before they can break on the shore.
It seems an appropriate metaphor; sitting and watching helplessly as something so beautiful turns so ugly and angry.
I try to call my big sis because I know I need to hear what I know she is going to tell me:
“…It hurts me to think my normally warm and vivacious La is feeling remote and cold. There is one thing, though… I don’t want you to become habitually numb. I don’t like it. I would rather see you cry and curse (in moderation, of course) than become this cold, remote, heartless woman. We are too much the same and if it can happen to you, then it can happen to me – and we can’t have that.”
Cuz, you know, stuff about me is about her 🙂
But we keep missing each other some kinda way. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling to me to sit with it on my own for awhile.
So I do.
I root around for some remnants of the rituals I usually go through when mourning the loss of love.
And find nothing.
I look around for some feeling other than resentment; some small scrap of fear or sadness or anger or resolution or peace.
So I just sit with it. I watch the waves. I watch the people. I twirl my small fingertips in the sand. I ignore the cold.
Because really, that is what I do.
At the end of the rickety pier jutting out into the middle of the water, I try to make sense of the patterns of the waves as they reach for the shore. There is a definitive rhythm, yes, but no rhyme. Beauty in chaos; such is life.
I imagine jumping in. Not in any melodramatic Ophelia type of way. More in exploration of the tenets of baptism; in hopes that when the top of my curly head breaks the surface again, I will be washed clean and renewed. Revived. Ready.
There are no melodramatic bouts of hopelessness. Maybe some bitterness, but I’ve gained enough years on this side of the womb to know that it will pass. I will not die. I will not break. There will be some bending, sure. But I know I will heal, in some way. In as much as at least the scars won’t be a part of my everyday ensemble.
The difference this time, I think, is that I am interested in totality. Not just getting over things, but truly being done.
I have certainly tried the other way.
If you are looking with the wrong eyes, it seems like waves have no origin. But there has to be some sort of occurrence, some sort of phenomenon, to move it towards the shore. There is no movement without a catalyst. So I start to trace back how I got here…