I spent the latter part of this week wandering in my past.
I suppose when you’re around your family, all you have is the past. Who you used to be. Where you’ve been, and the ever-conflicting conversations about where you’re going. The same goes for the collective ‘they’.
It’s not anyone’s fault but my own that I think this way.
But I sat and processed a lot of ghosts. A lot of painful things and resounding conclusions that we are resilient and strong and capable.
I watched my dad pacing back and forth and reassured him that this was another adventure, not knowing quite where the road will end up, or how steep some days might seem. I feel as though this is what life is. A steady stream, moving you through God knows what.
Hopefully, at the end of the day, you have some peace and a full belly.
I look at my relatives who have seen and caused and worked through some traumatic things. I see us all as wounded. Not one of us here has been able to move through this thing unscathed — new people — new things — but their eyes are the same and I read that they are capable of seeing life a million different ways.
In all of this, I move in and out of my own past. I sit with that tired and heartbroken part of my body that is dying in its own way. I push my shoulders back, and I make more eye contact. A sign that all living things have the ability to open and close; add and take away. This is my season of standing taller, I say to myself. This is your body. Your eyes. Your scarred up arms and skinny legs. Use them. This is another way to show people you love them, to share with them your struggle of being wonderfully human.
“Have you gotten taller?”
I hear that from people, these days.
Just my attempt at standing straighter, when possible.
Perhaps whenever it is that I’m leaning over the stove, and I feel the muscles in my lower back responding to this common motion, I think about adaptation and repetition. The parts of ourselves that grow stronger because it’s what we have to do. The lean. The constant pressure. Adjusting back into your frame.
Returning back into ourselves.
Maybe this is about posture.
How we hold ourselves up in all this gravity.
All I know, is that our stories aren’t fully written yet. That is both exciting and terrifying.
You will carry yourself and others toward the end, though.
And that is what I watched this week.
A family, carrying their own through another chapter. Another story.
Another adventure, with the past in its place, and the future moving forward,
eyes wide open.