Lately I sometimes think I am done writing. Days and weeks pass, and I find I have nothing to say. I ask myself, “How can this be? I read. I write journal entries. I compose letters. I venture outdoors. I photograph.” In spite of the stimulus, I find I think and hear nothing new. My head swirls with the same thoughts. I feel loss. I feel pain. I grieve. I soldier on, but nowhere in my mind does a new thought enter sparking joy, wonder, questions…or words. I hold myself in stasis, warding off the pain of what cannot be changed, counseling acceptance…counseling acceptance. In stasis I keep thoughts at bay; in stasis I keep emotions in check; in stasis, I defeat myself.
Lately I sometimes feel lost in the outcome of past choices. I ask myself, “If I had not done X, if I had chosen Y, if I had not acted selfishly, if I had loved more — if I had been stronger, more courageous, less vain, less who I am — would I feel now as I do?” But those choices have been made, and today’s outcomes are those of today. I counsel acceptance…acceptance…and sometimes my eyes fill with tears, and I cry.
Life. This journey. What is it all about? We are born through no decision of our own. We graduate through the years of childhood pushed, restrained, challenged, protected. We dream dreams based on stories. We articulate desires based on imaginings. We step out into the world as young adults the product of our ancestors, our cultural upbringing, our geography. We step out into the world thinking we are our own person, not realizing that we are the present-past of all that has transpired.
Lately I have come to understand that I am not “I,” but the embodiment of everything that is and has been. I am the first cell of life; I am the fish that made land; I am the first mammal; I am the first woman; I am my great-grandmother whom I never met; I am my parents who have passed from this earth; I am my brothers, my sister. I am what I understand to be true and what I never will know to be fact. I am the product of my decisions; I am the product of all decisions.
Life. This journey. Lately I sometimes think I am done writing. Lost in what I perceive to be the outcomes of my past choices, I withdraw into myself, holding thoughts at bay, putting a check on my emotions. The world, although ever-changing, appears dark and forbidding. My head swirls with the same thoughts. I feel too much. I counsel acceptance. I counsel patience. I press on. I read. I compose letters. I venture outdoors. I continue living, striving, learning, growing just as my parents and grandparents did before me; just as my children do — life begetting life. Journeys without end. Never done. Always beginning anew.