Perhaps I Was Wrong

When I said that it was too early for green sprouts in my own yard, I might have been speaking prematurely. Walking home this afternoon, I had to stop to appreciate these along the front of my building. Spring really has arrived!

Spring

(The above image is of green crocus shoots beginning to make their way out of the ground.)

Spring Is On The Way

Spring is almost here. I can tell beyond my bottled up cabin fever because yesterday temperatures in the city soared above fifty-five degrees and friends are starting to send me pictures of crocuses poking shoots out of the earth hesitantly. I am anxiously awaiting the melting of the snow so that traces of green might start to be seen in my own yard, but I think that is still a little ways off still.

I love spring. Not just for the freshness and the green sprouting everywhere but for the sense of renewal that it brings with it. Especially after a hard winter, which this past certainly qualifies, I yearn for the chance to shed layers and start fresh and spring gives just that opportunity. There is a literal shedding of layers after all, sweaters and coats and scarves giving way to lighter jackets and caps, skin starting to be exposed to the sun again as it dares to peek out from the gloom of New England winter.

Here sitting in this coffee shop, I chose this seat intentionally because the sunbeam hits it fully. It sometimes makes the screen of my tablet a little difficult to see, but it is warm and enveloping and on a day where temperatures have dipped back near freezing, it is more than welcome. Tomorrow, the sun is due to shine and the actual beginning of spring frowns nearer. Those green shoots of spring, the crocuses and daffodils won’t be far behind the melting of the snow. For a winter that I was once sure would never end, I now have fledgling beginnings of faith that March will it allow a break through and spring will once again bring that renewal, as it has so many times before.

Anti-Valentine’s Day

I’ve never really celebrated Valentine’s day as an adult.  Probably because the one year I had a dating-friend as a teenager around Valentines day it went so abysmally that I decided it was a terrible, marketing-driven holiday intent only on convincing people that they had to spend huge amounts of money to prove their love to someone on one particular day of the year otherwise they were scum. I think that’s stupid. If you love someone, you should show them you love them far more than once a year and I find the endless commercials for diamonds obnoxious. I prefer to celebrate February 15th, the day Valentines candy goes massively on sale. That is what I find worth celebrating.  I’m a sucker for peanut butter chocolate shaped like hearts and eggs and trees,  depending on the time of year. But I digress…

I’ve been drawing a lot lately because I’ve been having a lot of psychomotor agitation (extreme restlessness) and focusing intently on something other than bouncing my leg up and down helps to relieve it. Also it saves my muscles from cramping and exhaustion and the occasional build up of lactic acid when I forget to breathe. I jokingly told my partner that if I did celebrate Valentine’s day, that this drawing would have been her gift, but I don’t so it isn’t so she shouldn’t read into the fact that I happened to try this particular design based closely on something I saw online at this particular moment in time rather than three months from now. Fortunately, since she’s as pro-Valentine’s Day as I am, I’m fairly confident she’ll go along with me on this. Otherwise I’d have to hide the drawing for a month or so and show it to her then.

Heart-800px

(The above image is a pen and ink drawing of three hearts intertwined with geometric filled shapes.)

 

Steady

“Trauma tries to erase us. Oppression tries to erase us. Ignorance tries to make us disappear so we don’t mess with the tyranny of the status quo. We were taught to stay silent, to smile while bleeding, to pretend it wasn’t so bad. We were tricked into thinking our stories were shameful and stupid. Writing and speaking these exquisite truths – the truths about our story, our gender, our sexuality, our races, our biochemistry, our memories, our dreams – and revealing the ways in which we heal and keep on healing, this is how we fight for our lives. And this is how we win.” – Caroline Harvey

A friend posted this quote on Facebook recently and it instantly resonated with me. There are some days where I just feel instantly defeated from the beginning, like the cards in the deck are stacked against me while I’m still asleep and I just have the misfortune of waking up to everything being piled on in a way I can’t look away from or ignore. And then some days, I wake up without the overwhelming sense of the world crashing down on my shoulders. Those days, I feel like I can pause, at least for a moment and breathe and even if that’s the only moment of peace that I get within my skin for the rest of the day, it’s a relief. Lately I’ve been lucky to have had a string of good days, those days where I can breathe throughout the day, where I can smile even, where it doesn’t feel like my skin itself is the enemy, muscles twitching uncomfortably, leaving me twitching and agitated.

When I left the hospital last week, I was glad to be home not just because psychiatric units are uncomfortable and assuming of all of your agency but also because I felt ready to be home. I know that things will never return to the way they were two years ago when I had not begun to scratch the surface of the years of trauma that I had shoved down and assumed buried forever. I’m not the same person that I was then, but in some ways I think that’s for the better. There are some ways in which my life is more difficult now, for sure, but I think that person was on a collision course with something very dark and if I had not begun to deal with my scars, I would still be hurtling along that trajectory at a frightening velocity. I am still fighting with myself to not pretend many days that things are okay, to make out that that things are not as bad as they really are because it is what I’ve always done and it is what I was taught to do. But the road to recovery is a much slower one, the path is rocky, it’s uphill with many switchbacks and the truth is that there’s no quick way to get through this, much as I wish there were. I’m not patient, but I’m learning because that’s the only way to be these days.

Tomorrow I hope for peace, for as many breaths as I can have it for. That is my goal. Start small. Not that reaching for the stars is bad, but too much is daunting and that doesn’t accomplish anything in the long run.

Another Introduction

When I was thinking of starting this, I began searching for a domain that would hold meaning for me but everything that came to mind was unavailable. I stumbled upon redolent through a thesaurus and found the play on the meaning of being strongly reminiscent of something and ending with .me perfect. I want this space to be a sincere and honest representation of myself so I was drawn to this as a beginning and reminder of that.