Sometimes I wish I wrote under an alias. Sometimes, no, often I have things to say, to spill, to pour out like so much distilled darkness, but I can’t allow myself that indulgence. Those things remain close, fermenting, growing, taking root until they push their way out as tears, impatience and a terrible restlessness. There are words; I say them to myself, chanting them like a mantra. I tell myself everything will be all right, that I’ve been down this road before and returned chastened but wiser. Comfort is what I long for, and I look for it in servings too large, naps too long, television and magazines too mindless. I listen to music so bleak and evocative that it brings tears, thinking that it will be some kind of purge and leave me blank and ready to start again.
It will come, as always, the first tingling of excitement about life poking up from beneath my despair like the bravest green shoots of March. It might be a nail polish color or a novel; I’ve been revived by something so minor as the sight of a copper-green leaf riding the currents past my window. It will come.
For today, my cup is empty. I will do as expected, because I always do, being a good girl of longstanding, but there will be that pressure threatening from behind my eyes, that desire to retreat and lick my wounds in private. It’s part of life, this empty cup, and one best filled not with frantic consumption of food, whiskey or entertainment but with the passage of days and the willingness to be still and present. It seems so painfully deliberate, and deliberately painful, this patient suffering, but I’ve learned something after all these years.