There is hope in the fact that I know I can sink, release, and open. This is the space and possibility that I experience during most yoga practices or even sometimes late at night as I count my breaths. I can feel the possibility of the water below my feet – like my son standing on the 7 meter platform last night, peering over the edge at the blue pool under him. But it takes a leap of faith to expand into the seemingly limitless space.
I know this, too, and it scares me so much – there is just as much possibility for closing down, growing tight, hitting the cement. It’s a 50/50 deal, a crossroads in the middle of Nebraska. This way to a small, scary death; this way to openness and joy.
I listen to an interview — my weekly dose of Krista Tippett’s On Being — and repeat-repeat-repeat the section about how some people never deal with their demons and grow harder with age, their world caving in on itself, their geography literally smaller. I imagine them nearing death as shrinking crustaceans.
Some warped proof of this: one of the people in my life who seemed to fly in the face of such smallness – a painter and printmaker who appreciated new art and sought out younger artists, who filled her house with books by challenging authors and magazines with fresh ideas – recently entered a nursing home, a place where she did not go but where she went, a painted smile on her lips and wonder in her eyes at the dark reality of it. She looked both chagrinned and dismayed when I visited her. As though she’d lost at a hand of cards despite having a full house.
I want to go to New Orleans with you, my darling. But not there. Some place new. I want to go to the idea of New Orleans. To a late night road trip with Steely Dan morphing into Prince morphing into Sinead. I want to hear that story again about your friend and the dog and the run away RV. I want to see your eyes twinkle as you look at me sideways with longing and love, a flower bursting from your chest, your heart beating under its 46 years of skin and muscle, built like layers of limestone over a source of fresh water.
But you’re going to suburban Chicago to learn and opine, to be with your tribe. You’re standing on your own platform board, looking in a different direction, as I try to seek out some blue under the layers of my own limestone. Seeking the sea inside.