Looking back and looking forward. Free-write I did last March with Maya Stein. Some stuff to pick and choose as a launch for a longer piece from this short writing . . . :
I almost got what I wanted.
I like to say things to myself like, what’s the lesson here? What’s the lesson here? What’s the lesson here?
Sometimes I hate asking myself that. Really. Sometimes I just want to be pissed, and have a chip on my shoulder. In the case of my marriage though, I was pissed and had a chip on my shoulder. Constantly. That’s why I left. And lately I’m freaking out because I feel pissed all the time, yet I am mostly happy. I mean, I am happy in my relationship. I just feel so ready to move move move.
I almost got what I wanted. I wish I knew what I wanted. It’s like I’ve spent so much time saying later – I’ll get to that later, right now I have to do this . . . that I sort of forget what I want.
I wanted to be a successful musician – not super star – but star. I was almost there, almost, almost. And he reeled me in, just when I felt I was on the edge of it all. And then he cut me down. And kept cutting and cutting until I lost my nerve. Starting doubting that I had any talent at all. I even started to believe, or have tried to tell myself, that it wasn’t what I wanted, and besides, I wasn’t really talented. Not really.
Yeah, I wanted love, too. And I wanted to travel. And I wanted to make a difference somehow. I wanted it all, and he tried to tell me I couldn’t have it. He did tell me I couldn’t have it all. More than half my life a musician and I got caught in his web.
I tried to channel my need to make music into more writing, more painting. But everything felt useless, dead, forced.
So, I have told myself that perhaps I didn’t want that. But you know, I remember that feeling of almost having it. Of walking on the sidewalk and not even feeling the ground. Of listening to a recording and just knowing it was perfect. Of writing a song and hearing the whole band play it. Of using my voice. Body so open and alive. Shoulders thrown back, heart leading, invisible gigantic butterfly wings.
That wanting was so deep I didn’t want to admit it.
Almost a decade later and I am letting go of the but . . .
Timid steps forward. Waves. Tremendous waves.
Underground. Dormant. Seed. Boxed. The box has become soil. The box I have put myself in has dissolved. There is no place to go but up. Up up up up up up up up. I left the city for big sky. I traded canyons of buildings for canyons, period. Grand Canyon. Red Rock. Walnut Canyon. Big sky. Big Earth.
The wind here is enough to make a person go crazy. This place, this big space with whipping wind, fierce snow, jagged rocks. Wild beauty. I remember when I first arrived, I kept saying out loud, “Wow, look at those mountains. I can’t believe I live here!” Now, I say, “I can’t believe I live here,” and I mean, I can’t believe I’m still here. I’ll be gone soon, in a few months. This will be my third attempt to leave. This is my last attempt.
Sometimes I feel like really leaving – like going to India or Spain or Brazil or Greece – just going and not coming back, not to this country. Sometimes I feel like an ex-pat and I haven’t even left. Must have been my stint in Corporate America – if that is the America most people experience, oooh, give me a barista job any day. Talk to artists and writers all day, and then go be one myself.
© March 2011