It’s that jolt, the sensation that you’re falling, and it usually happens during deep slumber. The freefall. It sits there, wedged between the box titled Deja vu and Death on the shelf called Things I Can’t Explain. The more it happens, the more terrifying it becomes. You’d think I’d get used to it, but I don’t. I always wake up wondering, wiping sweat with a shiver of cold and wondering, what if I’d landed? Where would I land? Would I hit hard ground, deep ocean? Immediate death, feeling nothing at all?
What causes the freefall? My brain is so much on overdrive that I really couldn’t tell you. When I sleep deeply, which isn’t often, my dreams are erratic and make no sense. Not really. Sometimes they do. Sometimes I recognize the places and the faces and the feelings…much as I don’t want to. Sometimes dreams are memories. Sometimes they are things hoped for, lost and thought forgotten. But things are never really forgotten, are they?
I’ve been pondering why I keep this blog. Why I continue to come back to it when I have so little advice to offer. I don’t even know who reads my words, except when people post a comment, then I know, then we connect. Otherwise it’s really like writing to an anonymous pen-pal. Sharing things that perhaps should not be shared at all. But I’m like that, you see. I share my thoughts far too easily, if I have the chance to write them down. Sit me across the table from you and ask me to talk, and you’ll get blessed silence. I’m not big on chatter. I don’t need meaningless words to fill the silence. I like silence more than I like noise.
I am sifting through the things that brought me here, to the place I am today, to the dreams I still hold perhaps too tightly, but am not willing to release my grip on. I don’t yet understand myself, some days I doubt I ever will, but I do know this. I must write. If I have no words, I have no me. It’s that simple really.
And that terrifying.
It is like being in constant freefall, not knowing where I’ll land. Or if.
But this is where I am. What I do. What I can’t live without.
This is me.
So, since I am a professed story teller…I think I’ll begin to use this space to tell stories. And we’ll see where they land.
The Summer I Heard The Wind…
We’re laying on thick grass as green as the magic marker that stains my hand from this morning’s coloring session. The air is warm and my mother tells me it will rain, but for now the sun burns my face and the scratchy blades poke my back through the light t-shirt I’m wearing over my one-piece. My friend beside me sighs. At first I believe it’s that contented sigh of childhood – one that sings of freedom, hope and the luxury of having nothing more to do than watch the clouds drift across a pewter sky.
Lucy sighs again, and there is a sadness to the sound that tells me more than she’s said. “Do you think God can stop the clouds from moving?”
Sometimes her questions startle me. I turn my head and our eyes meet. She’s serious of course, as she always is. I grin, but her dark eyes narrow and I know I must find an answer. “Of course He can. God made the clouds. He can do whatever He wants with them. He parted the sea, right?”
“No. That was Moses.”
“Oh.” I suck my teeth before I can stop myself. ‘Disgusting habit, Alison, really.’ My grandmother likes to point out things like that. She thinks I’m a tomboy. I guess I am. “Moses. Right.” I should know that, of course. But I am a dreamer, according to my parents and teachers. When I’m confined to four walls, my thoughts wander and drift as aimlessly as the clouds above us. Sunday mornings under the hardened gaze of Mrs.Waddle are no exception. And she does waddle, by the way. “Well. I still think God can do anything.” I must redeem myself somehow. “Don’t you?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if God can save me,” she whispers. Her fingers brush against mine. I’m only ten, but I recognize the intensity of the moment, the urgency of it. I grip her hand and hold tight. “Save you from what, Lucy?” Her stare screams of a heaviness I cannot imagine any ten year-old carrying, yet I can’t deny it’s there. I’ve seen it before, a couple of times now, but it scares me so much I never ask.
“Nothing.” Her wide smile returns and she scrambles to her feet. “C’mon, Alli. Let’s go for a swim before the rain comes.”
She’s off and running, but I lay there for a long moment, staring up at the sky, contemplating the bigness of it, looking for dogs and ice cream cones and maybe even answers in the clouds as I wonder what Lucy could possibly need saving from.
The wind picks up and blows our coloring books across the back lawn. It whistles faintly through the trees in erie warning, and somehow says I don’t want to know.