And then the sadness returned but it didn’t last

I take the 5 to and from work. That part of the freeway, late at night, when there aren’t a lot of cars on the road, and I’m ready to tuck myself away from the day, has come to represent a certain solitude and freedom in my life. How many times in the past months have I cried my heartache out, singing out-of-tune to some song driving home in my car. I wouldn’t quite say I was crying my heart out last night but I was sad. Sometimes when I’m tired I get kind of blue and melancholic. At work I was exhausted, and I missed Leo with a deep longing I hadn’t experienced in a while. It took everything I had not to say fuck it and text him to meet me for a drink. I don’t think I really would have but I wanted to. The thought of how I would feel after stopped me. The pointlessness of it stopped me.

On Friday I had the penultimate project of my therapy workshop.¬† Each time we do process work it feels to me like I’m removing barnacles from my soul. So that was probably the main reason I felt emotional and exhausted. So much of the investigation, of the work in the workshop, is about finding what holds us back, what the defenses and patterns in our lives are, and for me it has also been about learning to trust, about not being so driven by a timeline, and learning to really believe in myself.

I did my project in my friend Vee’s back deck. The afternoon sun had burned off all of the morning June-gloom haze and butterflies were fluttering about. Part of my project was to build a castle out of cardboard and cover it in glitter to sacrifice¬† my attachment to fantasy. I listened to Vespertine, which is such a brilliant album about creativity, sexuality, potentiality and dreams. While building the castle I thought about the last time I had spent an afternoon being that messy and carefree, which was probably when I was in summer camp in my early teens. I then was stung by a bee. The crazy thing is that the only time in my life I have ever been stung by a bee was at summer camp. In one of my one-on-one sessions with my therapist we’d talked about hummingbirds going from flower to flower, unknowingly pollinating other plants, and in the process making something magnificent grow. That is what showing up, and doing the work everyday does. Regardless of what the work is, if you do it consistently something grows. That is what bees do too, so later at home, I looked up the symbolic and mythological significance of bees.

Bees also symbolize eloquence , speech, and intelligence . In Hebrew, the word for bee, Dbure, has its origins in the word Dbr, speech.”

In modern psychoanalytical thinking, honey symbolizes the “higher self” , the ultimate consequence of work on one’s inner self. As the result of the transmutation of ephemeral pollen into a delicious food of immortality, honey symbolizes the transformation by initiation, the conversion of the soul, and the complete integration of the person.”*

I mean seriously could anything be a more magical or auspicious? Am I crazy for taking the sting as a wink that I’m on the right path?

When I got home I had a package from Leo with some mail and a cd- Belle & Sebastian Write About Love but all I could see from the cover was just Write About Love, and I thought- well, I am.

The next morning I met up with some old friends, from the summer camp I had been thinking about while making my castle, who were in town. On my way to meeting them I was thinking about community. How often I had shunned it. How much I had hated in High School growing up in such a small, tight-knit community, and how I had come over the years to love that I had. I sat with my friends having coffee, loving how we had shared such a formative experience, how we all shared the memories of running around barefoot, of living practically without electricity, of laying on blankets at night looking at the stars. Then Leo drove by. I caught the tail end of his little convertible. It was the closest I’d come to seeing him since November and it didn’t quite throw me off kilter but it definitely set me on the path to missing him.

All weekend long all these meaningful connections kept dancing around me. One of my camp friends had mentioned the last day of camp, how amazing that last morning was. We would all be woken up super early, while it was still dark, and there would be a path lit with with small flames. We would all silently make our way to the woods or the beach, and there there would be a bonfire and the older campers would be singing Neil Young songs, and we would all sit around the fire and listen to the camp director or a counselor talk about something meaningful to them- community, honesty, love… At dawn we would all say our goodbyes and it would be cold and everyone would be crying. That was the thing about camp. It brought in to my life some of the magic of everyday life- the sitting around watching a sunset, or walking at night with the fireflies kind- which is the best kind. My friend said, “Isn’t it amazing that our camp would do this beautiful ritual. That they would close the summer with a ritual instead of an awards ceremony or something like that.” I had totally forgotten how powerful those morning were. How wild that she would be in town reminding me of it it over the weekend that I had done a personal ritual as part of my workshop.

After coffee, I met up with Stevie. She was getting a mani/pedi, and I desperately needed to cover my grays (which aren’t so many but are noticeably there). We went for lunch after, then spent the rest of the afternoon drinking bubbly, listening to records, and talking about creativity. It was a lovely afternoon, and I was really bummed I had to go to work, which for the most part ended up being light and breezy. That is until I started to crash from the past day and a half. I started feeling so heavy and sad because I realized I had to come to terms with my loss once and for all. I had to make peace with it and let it go. That there could have been so much love between us. That there still was. That it couldn’t work out. That it can’t. That I ultimately don’t want it to. That is the wall that I have, over and over, come up against. Back in September I read a piece in The New York Times that spoke intensely to me. I thought about it last night. And I thought- in love you often have to completely let go of something before you can begin to harbor hope again.

*lune de miel

*modern love