December 31, 2012


nub in flight | christmas bots | record baby jesus | coach, deserted | white christmas | cats in bags #453 | baltimore harbor, bright & windy | bookends | the onesies | we believe | little bro & his ax | fred in a bag | crater lake, midair | birds, midair | christmas in hampden, md | cheesepuff and aunt jess look for the car | snowy peaks | kid sister and me

home from maryland. the trip was what it always is. I made plans with several friends before leaving portland, but was then waylaid by travel woes and weather and ended up only seeing two of them. I spent most of the time at home sitting in what we almost instantly referred to as our 'onesies,' matching camo-print footed jammies that my mom bought all four of us. my brother outright refused to wear his so my cousin took it instead. we watched an obscene number of movies. my brother and I binge-watched more than half of firefly.

most of the time, for reasons having nothing to do with my family, I felt as terrible as I have felt all year. on one day I sat at the dining room table, alone, staring out the window at the backyard (pictured, snowy, above), thinking very little except how heavy everything seemed and how lost it felt. if there is anything I want from the new year, it is to claw my way up.

I don't know what to say about 2012. it was very bright and then it was dark. I enter 2013 inside that darkness. who and how I loved defined more than half the year, before defining the rest of it in a completely different way: as aftermath. I am still trying to make sense of everything that happened to me. "what did you learn?" asked one of my friends, while we sat drinking vodka tonics in baltimore's inner harbor. "that's just the trouble," I replied. "I don't think I learned anything at all."

to someone so important to me, I am just a terrible thing that happened, a big mistake. something much worse than nothing. and to think of how much it meant to me. it is not easy to live knowing that you are someone's biggest regret.

but no one can take away the joy I felt, standing on the banks of the willamette, hair loose, barefoot, having you throw rocks at my feet to splash me. nor the wild giddy delight of racing you on bikes, or the unbridled longing I felt as our arms bumped together as we walked. these joys are mine forever, regardless of the finality of our parting. I say this in abject defiance of the darkness. may they someday recede from view, with something that looks like grace.

I'm afraid to make a resolution for the new year. everything seems ready for change. the things I face are frightening and large. my half-leaser is going back to weekly lessons, canceling her lease as of february 1. as a result, I may have to sell Cookie. when I told my mom, I began to cry. I thought I had mostly come to a decision in my brain -- the decision to sell -- only to have my emotions betray me. who can say what the future brings. nothing in life is ever what you think it will be.

in 2013, I would like to find the way out. I would like to be more wild. I would like to do the hard things. to be braver. to reach out, to write back, to be a better friend. to be kissed. to be bold. to love truly. to let go.

I ring in the new year quietly, at home, alone. if I could have my pick of any way to do it, I'd be alone in the woods somewhere, retreating from view for awhile. this will have to suffice. the world didn't end in 2012, but if I'm being honest, in a way it feels like it did. may 2013 be a truly new beginning, for those of us who need one.

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