Egyptian mythology says that if we follow the direction of the sun, we will heal our hearts. I first learned this in Michigan, the halfway point of the driving-around-the-United States road trip. I knew heading east before heading west was the right choice, but I didn’t know why until then.
I do not have to tell you that I miss you or even how it still manifests itself every day. You watched as I jumped off that pendulum of emotions — dying and love; anguish and hope; fear and excitement — ready to live again despite your absence. That pattern of feelings waged battle after battle, and it’s only now that I can see how you never left my side, not even a little.
You were the only one who knew how broken I was when I set out over a year ago, and you’ve been the only one who has understood how I’ve struggled to let go, let go, let go, let go. Starting over felt like agreeing to forget, so I came here to Miramar Beach, the end of where I’d meant to begin, to say goodbye once more to you and to my still wounded self, to the regret I hold in my heart superseded only by what I learned from loving you.
~ ~ ~
You know how I dream, and two nights ago I had another. I was driving a Jeep, not your burgundy color but a light, feminine gold. There really wasn’t enough room for all the people I’d offered to give a ride, but that didn’t stop me from continuing to invite more and more people to hop into the truck. As each new person’s weight settled in, the floor of the Jeep dropped closer and closer to the ground. I ignored it, pretended I wasn’t worried that I might break down, blindly driving in spite of the too heavy load.
The next scene was this same group of people but now we were returning from wherever it was that we’d come, again with too much weight. Because I was the driver and the last one to get in, I could see clearly how this excessive bulk could damage the truck. In fact, I don’t know how it didn’t damage it on the way to the first location. But I didn’t want to ask anyone to wait behind since I’d encouraged them to come along. It wasn’t far into the trip when I felt the tire go flat. I stopped so people could get out of the Jeep to fix it and that’s when I saw that it wasn’t one flat tire, but that all four were deflated. I’d been driving on three flat tires when the last wheel gave out.
After everything was fixed, after all four tires were inflated, everyone started to climb back in, each person’s weight once again putting too much pressure on the frame. I was standing outside of the vehicle, shaking my head. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but if I didn’t speak up, I risked permanently damaging not only the frames of the wheels but the entire structure of the Jeep.
In the last scene, I arrived at a house and saw a man who was familiar and knew that if I were willing to feign interest, I wouldn’t have to continue being alone. Out loud I said, “I could close my eyes and pretend it was you,” because even in my dream state, you were still dead. I did close my eyes and when I finally woke in the light of reality, I was shaking my head, No.
You have my love forever which did not end with your death, but today and always, I promise these things:
- to let go
- to never settle
- to finish
Votary in Miramar.
~ ~ ~
Votary of nature even from a child
he sought her presence
in the trackless wild
To him the shell, the insect, and the flower,
were bright and cherished emblems
of her power
In her he saw a spirit all divine
and worshiped like a pilgrim
at her shrine