These last scenes of TUBE are taking a lot out of me. By the time I'm done writing for the day, I'm empty and need silence. To reconcile with my little self that is telling me my story, and to think about how to dramatize it and make it not mine but Olesya's, and to feel for her, feel so much, there isn't space for anything else. So I need silence. Stillness. Sky and trees and wind, just space to be. Without talking, without rushing somewhere, running, hurrying.
Years ago I wouldn't be able to imagine myself in a place like that, of quiet peace. It's like the more I write, the less my performance anxiety grips me, the less I am afraid of what people will think about me or my books, the less I want to prove something to someone, or everything to everyone. I'm on a path to reclaiming my little self the way I was meant to be, when I was free and wild and careless and happy just to be living. When sitting in a pile of dirt and looking at bugs crawl every which way made me happy to giggling, when picking out rocks from the road and squinting at them against the sun and watching the crystals in them sparkle could occupy me for hours, when I didn't care if I got wet under the rain, or if my hair looked this way or that, or if my body was wrong, or my face, or my gender; when I lay on the bridge over a little river and watched the pond skaters race on their long thin legs and imagined I could do the same if only I weren't so heavy; when I thought that my thoughts were incredible truths, when I figured out all on my own that people never died, they simply grew very old, and when they got too tired from being old, they grew young again, and so it went in circles; when I was amazed at the insight that I couldn't look at myself like other people did unless I looked at the mirror—I pondered this for a whole week, staring at my own reflection, making faces; when walking barefoot was fun, and squishing mud through my toes was so funny—it made this funny noise—I couldn't stop doing it until my toes cramped; when the simple act of sleeping was magic, because dreams would come, and waking up was magic, because there was a new day with new things I haven't yet seen or heard or smelled; when I just was, without judgement, doubts, fear, apprehension, shyness, indecision, worry, anxiety, fatigue, overthinking. I'm not talking about a particular age. I'm talking about moments that were abundant at first, and then dwindled as I grew, and then vanished. They're coming back now. From the silence. Slowly. One by one. They emerge from their hiding places. I have to coax them. I have to wait patiently, doing nothing, just looking and listening and taking in what I get.
I'm reclaiming myself. Out of nothing. Out of silence. Out of writing.