There are no paths where I'm going, only chaos. There is no sound, only garbled noise. There is no up or down, no left or right. I have to create it out of nothing and make sense of what was never meant to make sense, and yet if I don't, it will continue to hound me, to stalk me; it will continue to feed on me from the inside, until it will make me hollow and brittle, and I will collapse like a skin-sack without bones to hold it up because they rotted away, the flesh long eaten to nothing by the fears and the doubts and the self-hatred. It is the path to coming out the other end and being able to share my journey, when I'm through. And I'm not through it yet, I may have just turned its darkest corner.
I'm at the very bottom of thinking and rethinking, dreaming and re-dreaming, finding and losing and finding again, that elusive self that was lost ages ago and torn to bits and scattered all over the chaos that made its home inside me. It's hard to carry it; it's heavy and it likes to shift the opposite way of where I'm going, my past, my memories, my history, my life events that shaped me and destroyed me and shaped me again. It is perhaps a pilgrimage I'm on, delving deep into my own psyche like into a desert, dragging my feet through the sands of unknown, my throat parched, my eyes blinded by the sun, my skin burned to crisp by day and frozen to crust by night, and burned again in the morning.
There is no space for anything else in that desolate place. I have to traverse it alone. I have to find not what I'm seeking but what I'll let occur to me. And for that I have to keep looking.
It greatly disturbed me these last weeks, this complete disinterest in anything that's going on around me—the lives of my family, friends, the little happenings in the world and the big ones. It's like I slide over them and don't see them. And I don't want to talk. I only want to sit in silence and wander and wander and wander, where no one else can go except me. And maybe this wandering is coinciding with me finishing TUBE as I've come to a place where I've talked to my own five-year-old self and we wept together. And it wasn't enough. It felt like only the beginning of reclaiming what's been lost. I'm so deep in it at times, I can't fully function among other people, I can't comprehend what they're telling me or what they're doing and why it's important, and often I don't know how to respond.
I've met people in this stage of their journey before. I didn't understand them back then. I thought them aloof, standoffish. Or I thought them sad, or depressed. Now I know it's nothing of the sort. It's not aloofness, not depression. It's another kind of isolation, the kind one needs to dig through alone, because the digging can be done only by the one who is looking.
So in a way I'm sharing this stage with you from the other end of me, the one where only I can look. But I think a part of it made it in TUBE, and it changed into a story that's no longer mine but universal, a story of every woman seeking her younger self to reunite with, after that self was brutally severed from her. The dual nature of many of us where who we are on the surface is not truly who we are in the blood and the flesh and the bones of us. The searching for the pieces takes time, and the assembling, the mending, the putting it all back together. I was lately thinking often of SEAMSTRESS, the book I'll be writing about a girl who can become other people when she copies their clothes and dons them on. The fractured nature of that book idea is precisely my own fractured nature, my yearning to stitch it back together, to have the stitches become the scars and to hang that dress of scars where I can see it and be reminded of them as battles that I have won, because I'm alive. Though sadly I can't use the title SEAMSTRESS, will have to come up with something else; there are too many books by that title already.
But I'm veering off topic. Which is a good thing; it tells me I got the ache out on paper, the fear that by taking this time for myself to seek I'm somehow bad—bad mother, bad partner, bad you-name-it. I'm not. I simply never knew I could. I've been conditioned not to. Unlearning this is tough. But I'm doing it. One blog post at a time. One book at a time. Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page. Leaving footprints so when I'm done seeking, when I'm ready to return, I know how to find my way back, how to bring you what I found.