You and I need to have some words.
And believe me, I think you’re a terrific month. You are the essence of summertime. I think of red popsicles and swimming pools and thick green grass. I think about heat and afternoon thunderstorms and staying up late and waking up even later.
I remember sitting on the Hawthorne bridge a year ago, watching the fireworks on July 4th. I remember hugging you, and started to sense that things were changing inside of the frame that was sitting next to me. It was a couple of weeks after that you told me you didn’t want to be married anymore.
So, I bring all that here, as I do from time to time.
I hit these weird milestones with all of this, like some sort of pill in my belly releasing every so often.
I don’t mean to. Trust me. I’d love to be writing about food more or exploring some other part of life. I wish I could write a step by step piece on breaking down a chicken and making coq au vin. Maybe one day I will get there.
Today though, I am processing a love, a love lost and a certain time when things started shaking into pieces.
I’ve found writing to be one of my most important ways of remembering, and filing things away. Not like some cabinet, where you keep receipts and old forms. It’s more like something I can see. I pick them up and look at them from time to time. I think locking them away with everything else does more harm than good to me at this point. But it’s important for me to put places with people and remember how I felt. I will lose some of those things over the years, but I think it’s important to give them their light, from time to time.
July, you were a month that sent my world crashing into itself.
There were days I felt so alive.
Days that I wanted to let go of it all, including my own life.
I didn’t want to deal with any of it, which was unlike me at the time.
I realize, this isn’t your fault, as a month and general point in our calendar year. But I am living in your days, once again and as a person who remembers, I carry your weight. July looks a lot different in my new reality. Well, sort of new reality. I still have wood floors, and it’s warm outside. I am 2,400 miles in a different direction. South.
Summer in the ‘very South’ is different than a Portland summer; shocking, I know! It’s not that I forgot about how hot Mississippi summers are, I’ve just been indulging in the cooler side of things for the past five years. The heat seems oppressing at times. Steamy. Bright. Relentless. It’s summer in the South.
The weather is just an indicator of my change of place. That’s all.
I realize there are lots of other people going through changes, too.
I come now to recognize the importance of time.
My friend Jen in Portland would reach out to me from time to time to gift me with little nuggets of wisdom from her own past. I think I felt a little responsible in ways for bringing some old things back into the light, but without the wisdom from other people, I would have been drifting further away from myself, I think.
“As much as you don’t want to hear this right now, time will heal.”
Because to be honest, I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted someone to tell me it was a dream, and not the reality I was struggling to grasp.
But she was right.
Time is also that thing in my belly. Sometimes it feels like waves washing over a sharp rock, and over time, dulling its edge. I always like to refer to time and geology as a metaphor for how it smooths out the sharp bits.
I must also submit to love. The amount of love and time gave way to great amounts of healing. Though I was by myself through a lot of those terrible nights, I had a lot of love on my side. And she did too.
I didn’t watch fireworks. I was too tired, and fell asleep watching the Walking Dead. There was no one to kiss, or sit close to.
But I slowly dissolved into myself.
Like salt into water.
Realizing certain seasons are meant to bring us in and draw us out.
Like the tide,
washing over the edges,
turning what was once sharp, to smooth;
and leaving behind something entirely different.
It’s amazing what a little time can do.
3 responses to “a letter to July”
You did conjure a memory or two for me, but that only helped me marvel at the fact that so much had changed and I had gotten through so much that I thought I wouldn’t all those years ago. It has helped me say the things I’ve said to you with that much more conviction. I don’t know your exact pain, or the path that will lead you out of it, but I do know that you will come out of it one way or another – you already are. xo
I know you don’t believe it now but someday July will be a happy month for you.
I have gone through terrible times in my life and thought that dates and holidays would never be the same again but eventually I saw them differently.
I hope the next chapter in your life is filled with love and laughter.
Thanks for such an honest post.