• I left my shoes on the top of my trunk last tuesday at the barn and wednesday afternoon, just after returning from going to get lunch with a coworker, I came back to the office to see this:
one shoe was wedged in the door of the trunk. the other one somehow slipped onto the bumper and rode about 40 miles like that without falling off. I couldn't get over it.
related: my car is gross, dudes.
• people who reach out to me as a result of this blog are breaking my heart lately, in a good way. if you have reached out to me -- there are a number of you, some who I know and some who I don't -- it has mattered a lot to me. the idea that people care about me as a result of this thing, which is basically my diary, blows my mind. thank you. seriously.
• last week in the middle of our production meeting I found an old beloved silver ring of mine lodged in my don giovanni score. I've had the ring since high school. I've lost it at least six times, some of them quite dramatically, and every single time I've found it again. this time, I believe I likely lodged the ring in the score when we did the production SIX YEARS AGO. my precious! it was tarnished but otherwise unharmed. over time it had molded to perfectly fit my middle finger. now it's back, and shiny again, like magic.
• girlfriends. all of mine are amazing.
• I've been in california since last week.
california was sunny and perfect and I got a tan. my sister is still pretty and we still eat too much ill-advised food. we climbed a big tree and went hiking and did yoga and rode the ferris wheel on the santa monica pier and tried REALLY HARD to see the endeavour (but failed because it was so delayed) and ate at the only dunkin' donuts on the whole west coast and watched the orioles beat the yankees (before they lost the following night) and went paddleboarding in mission bay, which is where I discovered that I can do a headstand on a paddleboard in the middle of open water. and so can she, by the way.
I also took a road trip from LA to santa barbara for cristina's wedding. I rented a car and drove up the coast. I left pretty early in the morning for a 4 PM wedding, and since it's only a 90 minute drive, I had plenty of time to stop on the side of the road when things got pretty. I pulled over a lot. I had forgotten about the magic of the road, how everything else falls away. I walked up and down a small stretch of beach, picking up rocks and throwing them into the ocean. I dug up sand fleas. I scared the sandpipers away. windows down, hair blowing, sunshine. it was better than I can say. I really needed it.
and then, this:
cristina's wedding gave me something important: a lesson about love. I got to the venue early, and wandered around for awhile before the other guests started arriving. when I saw cristina's mom, I went over and gave her a hug. I hadn't seen her in a few years. I still always refer to her as "mamma z." she enlisted my help handing out some favors to the kids, and brought me, unexpectedly, into the room where the wedding party was hanging out. cristina was in the middle of getting photos taken when I walked in. we looked at each other and both started to cry. I knew I would be happy to see her but I didn't know just how happy I would be to see her. after she finished the photo she ran over and we hugged for a long time, crying. we managed to stop all other action in the room.
the whole night was like that: this feeling of belonging to something precious. lots of hugs from her mom, who held my hand as we all danced to 'we are family.' an encounter with her friend colleen, of insane youtube fame; we were both in line for the bathroom and as she approached I said, "I know you!! even though I've never met you!" and she said, "I know you too!!!" and we hugged and she said, "cristina is so happy you're here. you know, she didn't even cry when simon came in." (simon is her new husband). cristina's dad included me in his speech, by which time I was very openly crying, so overcome by the sudden realization that I had been with cristina through so many of the most important moments leading up to her wedding: the day she called me from LAX, sobbing, after saying goodbye to him in australia, where they met; the late nights she spent skyping with him every night; his first visit to see her; his proposal, which I got to be in on. I thought of how sad I was when she moved to australia, how I truly thought it was possible we might never meet again.
and of course cristina herself, my dear, good friend, who taught me, in her time in portland, so much about the nature of friendship: the early morning drives to the airport, the coffee runs for each other, the late night food cart stops, the hungover mornings, the parties, the goofy days and nights at work. cristina, whose bustle broke midway through the reception, and since we couldn't fix it I just held it up for her so she could dance. cristina, who, when I flopped down into an armchair behind her, sat on me in her wedding dress. my beautiful friend, whose beautiful wedding made everyone feel such joy.
that night taught me a lesson: this is love. real, unfettered, sincere, true love. people who unquestioningly make you feel special and appreciated, people who include you in their most precious of moments, people who love you despite time and distance. without constraint. I needed a reminder of what it was supposed to look like. what it was supposed to look like came up and gave me a hug and I cried, hard.
and so: bravely forward. I still love the one I love, but it is time to move on. kneeling in a bikini on a paddleboard in the middle of california, the sun shining, rowing hard against the current, I felt strong and sexy and full of adventure, and I had a revelation. he would really have enjoyed this, I thought, that is too bad for him, that he chose the path that is not here with me. that: that is the truth. I say it entirely without malice. I wish things were different, but they are not. I forgive, and love; I don't turn my back on that friendship, or what I felt, or what it meant, or any of the beautiful good. but it is time. if I stay mired in grief, then not only have I learned nothing, but also, nothing I ever tried to teach him meant anything at all.
I love you out there, wherever you are, and despite everything, I will for a long time. when I met you I said, 'endings are beginnings. life is so, so good.' may it be so, my dear one. may it be so.