It’s been a long time, too long. It’s been four years since I left this place. Once my writer’s haven, lukewater now seems like an untouchable graveyard or memorial, a past life explored. I barely recognize myself. I always dreamed of going off and living this incredible life better than any story I could ever write. I wanted to return to my art with a great sense of understanding and wisdom. Yet now I feel more torn and ravaged than ever before. I wonder if my art can save me from this darkness which grows ever nearer with each passing year.
You see, I went on an adventure. I fell in love with a man three times my age, I accepted god and Christ into my life, I traveled around with a little dog and an RV named Lola. The man died, though. His name was Jim. After a year and a half of some scary and unbelievable time spent wandering the West coast with my best friend, Jim died. My mind is haunted by the night of December 4th 2013; the night the world lost an incredible story teller and adventurer. When Jim died, I didn’t want the adventure to be over. I didn’t want to be overcome with sadness and grief. So I joined the army.
This decision felt very brave and heroic to me. The only knowledge I had of the armed forces was from movies. I envisioned myself shooting up bad guys on the battle field, rescuing wounded soldiers (I joined as a medic), and leading young men into the light and love Jesus Christ during their greatest time of need. Heroic indeed.
Now a year in garrison I’m still waiting for my chance to be heroic. I’ve completely reverted to my old pagan beliefs, I feel heart ache almost every day for Jim, and I’m still battling depression just as god-awful as ever.
As I read through the two years I spent writing here, ‘through the looking glass’ of my past life, some key turning points appear. When I first began writing here, I was still in high school. I lived with my family. I was surrounded by people who loved me. I was allowed to be imaginative and explore, to be creative and loving. Yes, I was constantly struggling with depression, but I was not alone. The writing grows considerably less playful as I started college. I moved away from my friends and most of my family. I felt lonelier and the writing grew sadder. Perhaps that’s just me projecting my feelings now onto a past self.
The recent creative projects I’ve embarked upon feel strange. I feel empty, really empty inside. I feel numb, like I can barely move. It’s so sad to see myself this way. I feel such an incredible urge to revert back to the way I once was. There is another pattern I’ve noticed within myself. Most people fear change and hate it, but I’m always eager and desperate for change. I often feel like if I could just reach that next hill, the next portion of my life, things will be better, improve. But things don’t get better. I’ve tried changing my surroundings, I’ve tried changing myself, but nothing seems to make me feel happy. I feel stuck in a rut and completely bogged down. Yet I am a completely changed and different human being than who I was four years ago.
If you’ve read this far, I’m completely amazed. I’ll stop before the self-loathing begins. There is one similarity between me and my past self. I only desire to love and be loved. Now more than ever, when I truly am alone (not just lonely in my mind) I realize how endlessly important a sense of belonging and community is. If nothing else goes right in life, I hope to connect with others, to create meaningful and lasting relationships.
I thought as a ‘welcome home’ present to myself, after being away for far too long, I would indulge in an improptu poem. I think you’ll be surprised and excited to see what writing I have in store to share with you, and I hope you will stick around.
looked up into the air
she saw fighter pilots in their winged metal machines
blanketing the sky with noise
the sun was setting a violent red
she spread her arms wide
feet planted firmly on the earth
as if to say
“here i am, come and take me”
held her hands in front of her face
to shield her eyes from the rain of fire
bullets flew through her hair
and cut the stitchings of her fragile dress
which fluttered in the wind like a tattered flag
her body fell into the earth which became the sky
her body fell into space which went on and on
her body was a tiny speck of dust compared to the vastness of the universe
and in the end She was nothing
and therefore became