the voyage out

It’s a hard thing to explain, though I tried, sitting center back at the memorial, waiting for the seats to fill and the lights to dim. I tried to explain the strangeness of it, these periods of time when life seems to slip straight through my hands. It’s being busy, yes, and it’s the worry. It’s the chaos and the flux and the transition and the growth. It’s life itself–the rush of it. But sometimes that frantic hum becomes its own sort of lullaby, it knocks you right out of yourself. Out of presence.

I think this is what I’ve been grappling with these past few months. Why the days have felt so dry and my words too choked–I’ve allowed myself to fall asleep, way down in my soul.

I remember the first time someone ever explained this concept to me and it changed my life in a profound but ungraspable sort of way. I was sixteen and spending the summer in Pittsburgh, studying theater at Carnegie-Mellon. I had an acting teacher that taught us everything from the outside in, body first, brain later. But then one day it was something new–the awake mind. We sat in a circle and he explained as best he could and we all clung to his words, young enough still, hungry enough, that we listened with reverence instead of skepticism. Everyone had that sense of waiting to be stormed by life and this seemed like the beginning.

Afterwards, I went and sat on a hill overlooking the entire campus. I was alone in a strange place and the sensation of life moving within me had never been so electric.

LA has been blistered by a heat wave these past few days. Triple digit temperatures and relentless sun. When I step out of the shower at night my hair is dry instantaneously, like a magic trick. I rode out these past few months without ever being entirely bucked off but I still feel dirt-stained, sweaty and bruised up.

And yet, mid-year, mid-month, mid-everything, I can feel that the new thing has opened up. And the old thing has closed firmly behind me–I can finally look at this strange, tumultuous, undulating year as a thing of the past.

All of this is to say that I’ve woken up again, I think. I feel it my bones, in my hair, in my skin. I feel it in my heart.

Life has sweetened up and my arms are open wide.

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