Suicide Birds and Seahorses…7/28/08

peter

Hmmmm…where should I start? I guess at the beginning. I’m not even sure I understand the purpose of this, but I know eventually it will find me. Let’s start, Halloween 2007. Unsatisfied, unfulfilled with my life, I sat on the porch in the Smokey Mountains at 2:30 a.m. with a friend, discussing that I was turning 40 in a few years, and that I didn’t feel that I knew what I was supposed to be doing, or better yet, wasn’t doing what I felt I should be doing anymore, but I didn’t even know what that was I guess. My friend, a very wise, yet unfulfilled 59 year old, sat back, stared right into my eyes and said, “Don’t wait until you’re 59 and your husband sits on the couch watching CNN news all day.” It was the scene in ‘Thelma and Louise when Thelma can no longer go back; those words released me. And I could not go back. Within the next few months, I left a seven year relationship, which at times, I am unsure was the correct decision, left a job I had been with for almost 13 years and began writing a book. And then not one book, but two and now three. Oh, and did I mention I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict, and as such I cannot limit myself to any one thing. And then my mother became extremely ill and was in the hospital until May 14th, when she passed away. And driving away from the hospital that night, Bob Dylan singing “Shelter from the Storm” from the speakers of my car, a bird swooped down and dove directly in front of my car. A suicide bird, I thought. But why would they take such a risk? For the excitement? For the test? For the chance maybe they would make it to the other side, and maybe they wouldn’t? Could these small creatures really be that wise? Sage Swallows? And maybe, we were all suicide birds, putting ourselves in risky situations or taking chances, to feel, for one small moment, that we were truly alive. And that’s how it began for me, through all this crap that has happened, although I know it served a purpose, I’ve begun my own nosedive in front of cars on the interstate late at night. It started with living one year dedicated to living freely, taking chances, going places I wanted to go and not being afraid to meet new people. But now I think maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be for me. Maybe I’m not supposed to sit like a bird on a wire, waiting to fly south for the winter. Maybe I’m’ supposed to fly south now. Or tomorrow. Or maybe never. But nothing makes sense and everything makes sense; all at once. Suddenly. And I don’t question anymore. Or at least I try not to. Haha…I’m not that arrogant. And one thing I know is that the magic still exists in me. And that is part of my journey, to forever stay four, wading through the creek behind our house, watching the sunlight hit the moss on the rocks, or seven, my mom allowing me to check out twenty books at the library, or nine, and still now, way down beneath the turquoise waters of St. Barts or off the coast of Tulum, live seahorses who sport bright, red top hats and sing Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” At least…at least I hope they do.

Reading back on this entry makes me realize how much I’ve allowed myself to fall back into caring again what people think and that I’ve allowed myself to live under constraint again. Alex teaches me daily to live full and follow through with your dreams…a teacher…ahhh yes, he is indeed! And so I guess I need to remember where I came from and once again, chase after seahorses, because…we’re on borrowed time as it is…

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