With every bit that I loved you, I
paved a path into my heart
with your image,
your eye freckles,
with the scent
of your vetiver,
of our foreheads,
the sound of
with the school kids, singing
… playing the piano, the guitar.
Deeper and deeper I dug you- us, in.
I excavated a tunnel into my deepest foundation and filled it with us.
We laid out plans…
with no patience and to get a head start, I excavated more than we could fill,
I excavated 50 years ahead.
I was somewhere over there,
farther from here and closer to ahead and couldn’t see or hear that
had run out of materials,
you had put down the tools.
I was busying myself way up ahead,
merrily practicing songs to sing to you,
not noticing, yet slightly aware the deadening silence,
the stillness, the increasing distance behind.
Until the collapse finally made a sound I thought I could not bare. I turned
to finally look
at what was here.
You, gone- you, left.
The tunnel collapsed. The tunnel, deep into my heart collapsed and I was alone inside it. Alone- inside myself, where I had never been before. My own inside- I had never been before. It is mine. And I was so scared. Alone- was not in the plans.
I sat down and tucked my knees in, hid my head upon the mounds of my knee caps and shut my eyes tight until they bled tears like champagne.
For 90 days the rest of me erupted violently cleansing salt into that empty space
and in that salty womb parts of me were cleansed.
Enough parts, that I could open my eyes into my innermost place.
And begin a life inside there.
Decorate it with my favorites.
Deep, crystal blue cenotes,
midnight walks in the rain,
and boat rides,
dancing and music and music and music,
and other languages,
and talks with passing strangers
and cross country adventures hugged with an immensely growing love of solitude.
I dug my way out of my inner most depth and left behind an intricate garden.
When you spend so much time on your knees, with your hands deep in nurturing plants
you become familiar with every inch you touch.
I planted an intricate garden of me- inside me.
And I thought everything was now mended.
Then someone else came along and started to poke their business into my garden.
He thought it rather lovely and
I enjoyed his delicate embraces amongst the zephyrs and sweet smells of
ripening fruits and blossoming flowers.
What good is a secret garden afterall?
He began to step foot into my tendered soils.
And whilst I thought a shared picnic to be splendid
When I saw the new footprints,
like a shadow looming from a distant and blurry photograph,
I cringed with the memory of previous trips down this way.
I resisted shooing him right out of my garden and slamming the door shut-
still- standing there with him was painful.
He remained just as delicate- many times more than you, but he was standing there
on the spot you once half hazardly tended and boorishly let collapse,
on the spot I toiled to strengthen and beautify.
Fog rolled in around me and I became lost and scared again-
I could not tell where I stood or if there was earth still up ahead.
I called out to him.
Salt water rushed through my body and out of my eyes to cleanse me some more.
“I’m here”, he reassures.
“I don’t know where I am…Will you be careful? Can you water my garden?”
“Of course,” I hear him say through the fog. “I want it to grow too.”
There was nothing I could do to lift the fog, it had a time of it’s own.
So I sat there on that one piece of earth I knew existed and waited.
And he waited too.
And in that togethered waiting, even amidst the foggy distance
I was incredibly comforted by his steady stillness.
Not the stillness of absence, but the stillness of patience.
The stillness of being,
like the seed in the garden
– at play with surrounding-
teaming with possibility, a consistent pulsating rhythm growing in it’s own time.
And I figured-
With that level of care-
I suppose he can stand-
at least at that very spot he occupies
without damaging anything.
And if, with intention
He manages to grow
in that spot
Then this time
I will go slower
check the pace
make sure we are in sync
viewing the same horizon
and both getting our hands dirty.