Notes to an existence

When you existed and I didn't know it yet:
Great Falls, VA // December 2014

- your father and I danced in the kitchen to “Came out of a Lady” by Rubblebucket, a song I’m sure I will sing for you, a video I’m sure I will play for you. You came out of a lady and I want you to save me, that’s amazing…

- I watched a swarm of Puerto Rican puppeteers descend on Hemming Plaza and chase a horde of laughing children around an easy evening and I imagined what life would be like when I was on the other side of this seemingly impossibly tall fence dividing BEFORE and AFTER not knowing I was already climbing...

- I stood with others and protested the injustices of this country, because it matters, because black lives matter, because the people in our communities alongside you matter. Because there are mothers with skins of different pigments who feel their children in their bellies as I feel you and that cycle of wonder is no less important than yours and mine. I hope this is a conversation and set of concepts that we will hash out many times in the future until you see as clearly as I that when our friends speak, we listen.

- I tried yoga for the first time and discovered I really really like it. I like to test my body and feel it conquer new worlds and positions, I like having a group of my favorite women over weekly, I like that our house is a welcoming and inviting space for meditative moments.

- I spoke my poetry aloud before an audience, multiple times over, when I was oblivious to your existence and then knowledged. It is a goal of mine for you to see me participate creatively, not just in our home but also sharing with others. It is important that you know what community looks like, true community, not the social imitations from the television. I want you to know and to participate, too.

- I climbed sheer rock faces high above a roaring river. I trampled dewy fields of clover down somewhere in West Virginia, hands and feet covered in layers against pervasive cold. I called after your father nervously when he traveled too far, to where I couldn't go, and I watched him deftly make his way back through glossy leaves.



It's been quiet in here. For those of you who don't know, I have recently found out that I am pregnant. Perhaps unrelatedly and for some odd reason my writing has dried up. I'm sure it will bloom again, unexpectedly, and I am in no hurry... But I do find myself in a state of introspection and hermitage from my usually bustling social existence. I am contemplating what is in store for my futures, both immediate and long term. I am waiting to see if writing is a permanent state of existence for me or if I have reached the end of this particular creative reservoir.
I say all of this because I stumbled on a quote this morning by Mik Everett that, through this bit of silence, I want to share:

What happens if you fall in love with a writer?
Lots of things might happen. That’s the thing about writers. They’re unpredictable. They might bring you eggs in bed for breakfast, or they might all but ignore you for days. They might bring you eggs in bed at three in the morning. Or they might wake you up for sex at three in the morning. Or make love at four in the afternoon. They might not sleep at all. Or they might sleep right through the alarm and forget to get you up for work. Or call you home from work to kill a spider. Or refuse to speak to you after finding out you’ve never seen To Kill A Mockingbird. Or spend the last of the rent money on five kinds of soap. Or sell your textbooks for cash halfway through the semester. Or leave you love notes in your pockets. Or wash you pants with Post-It notes in the pockets so your laundry comes out covered in bits of wet paper. They might cry if the Post-It notes are unread all over your pants. It’s an unpredictable life.
But what happens if a writer falls in love with you?
This is a little more predictable. You will find your hemp necklace with the glass mushroom pendant around the neck of someone at a bus stop in a short story. Your favorite shoes will mysteriously disappear, and show up in a poem. The watch you always wear, the watch you own but never wear, the fact that you’ve never worn a watch: they suddenly belong to characters you’ve never known. And yet they’re you. They’re not you; they’re someone else entirely, but they toss their hair like you. They use the same colloquialisms as you. They scratch their nose when they lie like you. Sometimes they will be narrators; sometimes protagonists, sometimes villains. Sometimes they will be nobodies, an unimportant, static prop. This might amuse you at first. Or confuse you. You might be bewildered when books turn into mirrors. You might try to see yourself how your beloved writer sees you when you read a poem about someone who has your middle name or prose about someone who has never seen To Kill A Mockingbird. These poems and novels and short stories, they will scatter into the wind. You will wonder if you’re wandering through the pages of some story you’ve never even read. There’s no way to know. And no way to erase it. Even if you leave, a part of you will always be left behind.

If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.