22 Sep 2013 I Will Be Beautiful.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~Michelangelo
It has been some time, I know.
This year. Has been. Something.
Humbling, that I will say. And cut, carved and marked by sadness and loss. Ashes to ashes, and all that.
Labor Day 2012 moved swiftly toward Labor Day 2013, with a truly stunning array of tragedy, illness, death, hospitals, funeral homes, doctors, dentists, veterinarians and crematoriums. The loss of my beautiful little cat Lucy in late August seemed like that last proverbial straw. She had been with me for 16 years. She took a piece of me with her. I had nothing left.
And then I got sick.
It seemed like a joke. A stupid, cruel, insolent joke. A summer cold: so minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but landing at a time when I had nothing left; no resilience, no bounceback. And what a cold it was – the worst I’ve ever experienced: took me down flat for two weeks solid, and knocked me out of work (a voice over actor who can’t speak is headed directly to the land of misfit toys). (Santa Claus seemed like a faraway pipe dream.)
Resilience is strong, but with repeated blows it can get worn down so that even the smallest miseries seem like full- blown tragedies.
And the universe bore down hard this past year. I feel cut away, stripped and spent. Like I’ve been pressed past breaking, like pieces are being chipped away, as people and things that were so real and tangible disappear and are gone. Into the ether. In a moment. I’m losing pieces.
I’m being changed. With or without my consent. (The universe is like that.)
On the good days, that seems like a good thing.
I’m finding strange little new freedoms, seeing the world a little differently, more quietly, stumbling my way down paths I’d long ago forgotten.
I notice I’m less angry these days – I just don’t have the energy for it. It seems unnecessary; frivolous even. I’m discovering patience. I’m noticing other people and wondering what they’re carrying. I feel more open; more vulnerable, certainly, but still looser, freer, more available.
Like being at the beginning again.
On the less-good days… well. it’s harder. I notice those missing pieces. And it hurts. I get scared. I get sad. Then angry. And it knots up and explodes in a torrent.
I’m losing pieces.
I’m being changed.
Maybe, just maybe, I’m finding what’s really real, getting back to basics, discovering the essence.
There was a movement class long ago in which the teacher had us doing arm and leg swings past the point of exhaustion, because it was only then, only past that point, that we would finally stop holding on and let our limbs swing freely. That was when it got beautiful.
Strength comes from breaking down – the muscles groan and ache from distress, and in the rest that follows they build back stronger.
Maybe the heart is like that too.
I am without strength to hold on to nonsense any more, and my heart is battered and sore. Pieces have been chipped away.
When this is all over, when the universe is finished chipping and chiseling and cutting and bearing down, when the pressure lets up and we can see what remains, when the rest finally comes , I don’t know what I will look like or who I will be.
But I think – I believe… oh god I hope, I hope: I will be beautiful.