So much time seems to have passed — a whole year in the span of a few days. The kind of days that, before, I would throw around like spare change, like a clump of sand into the ocean.
I remember the first few days of confinement though, the thick anxiety coiling in me, twisting like a constrictor trying to swallow its meal. There were conversations with myself about death, to death, as I waited on someone else’s results to seal my fate and that of those around me. But I won’t tell of this in any more detail, not here at least. The world has enough anxiety to go on these days.
Instead, I want to tell you all about my first day of liberation. The feeling you get when you loosen your hair and feel the headache simply dissolve into waves, when you burst out of a stuffed room, when you let tears finally fall. A large clothes basket, heavy against my waist, tethered me to the balcony with a scent of freshness and Dutch lavender. All around, a surreal quietness had fallen on all things, the way the sun had. Not a shout from the neighbours, not a sound of feet moving or even the putter of a motorcycle that city-dwellers are usually so fond of. Instead, birdsong drizzled over silence, pooling over housetops. The wind blew, unbothered. Rising softly from the basket, the clothes-hill was cool and fragrant and for a moment, for all of life, I wanted to climb inside of it. Into that inviting cleanliness, that purity where lavender fields bloomed ceaselessly, uncaring of seasons and cycles.
I picked a sheet, bewitched instantly by the way it swelled, caught in the murmurs of the wind, the sounds of a quiet life.
What’s keeping me here?
What if I were to just…let go? Would it be so easy? Would I finally go to that place where the birds all travel to at sunset, this place I have always known of, wondered about but have never reached?
The wind was pushing me from behind, lifting the back of my ample shirt. I was holding the sheet so it would not fly away, but what was holding me back? A job? Expectations? Fear?
I want to let it all go.
And I did.
I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my heart, banish the last few strands of anxiety wiggling about. I let the wind take me away, eyes closed, into the unknown, the unknown that leads straight home.
Note: It’s been a while! I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe during these frankly unsettling times. Where I am, we are under total lockdown, which means we can’t go out unless it’s to go to the hospital or the pharmacy. And we have a curfew. So it’s been a strange, long week. How’s the situation where you are?
Quote of the day
“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”
— Jack Kerouac, On The Road