“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
― Tahereh Mafi
(circa September-October 2016)
It’s been a while.
During the past three weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with continual physical weakness and intermittent weight loss that only echoes the polar magnitudes of my tectonic moods. My internship (of sorts) evolved into a hydra, replicating responsibilities like the white blood cells in my off-kilter body. It’s been difficult to conjure up any creative sparks to forge words solely about me right now; the lion eats before the lioness, leaving little behind. That said, I love my internship. I love it.
It’s depressing to wake up into the remoteness that seems to dominate my life. Gap years are supposed to be modern day fairytales, and I feel like I haven’t even stepped out of my own garden yet. Though surrounded by loved ones, it’s easy to feel alone, to see myself as too half-spirited to actualize my passions. Meredith, who locks herself away while life slips through her fingers.
The past three weeks have been a little rough, to say the least. It’s heartbreaking to accidentally lose weight and submit to a small ice age of recovery. Two steps forwards and one step back, towards the “orgastic green light” a the end of some mythical dock. Towards the lost golden ship and the legendary captain that went down with it. Like old friends, bones surfaced in a few places that have been, in more recent times, submerged by health. They seemed to whisper, reminding me that “we’re still here, dear, and yes, you are becoming powerful again.” What dangerous, tempting illusions.
It has almost been a year since October 18th, 2015. That day, my “day to end all days,” was the day my mind officially went to war with my body, the day when I lost my senses. Almost one solar orbit ago, the moon rose onto a night that transformed the rest of my life into an aftermath. It chills me to think about the lightning bolt that descended from the sky and smote the archaic innocence of my naive world, ripping apart the cracks that already broke across me like fragile seams. It’s been dark ever since.
I think back to this day, this empire that unleashed my mind from its cage, a bird “free” at the price of a broken body. Aftermath became glorious revolution. Things fell apart. When recovery came a few months later, and there was only the choice of life or death left in my weary bones, I chose life. Yet, in that choice, I chose chaos. I chose hibernation.
Now, I feel chaos reigning not only in recovery, but in how I perceive my “failing” gap year. It’s not what I initially wanted it to be. I’m not in the USA, or India, or some exotic place. I’m home. I feel dormant; but no longer. I know that my story, for now, must be here, in my garden. There are heavy perceptions in myself that I cannot run away from, that I cannot hibernate underneath any longer. Once again, there is a choice: sleep or wake. I choose to wake. I choose to take back my wilderness.
As my mind is trampled by a stampede of fears, both about my body and my gap year, I think back to some mystical trances I experienced while in the darkest shadows of anorexia. Can you remember the quiet cold in your body as your fire slowly dwindled in the lonely spaces? Do you remember the moments, comets trailing through the sky, when you sat still in the peace of a future when you would be alive, different from how you were then, but alive?
I’m different. I’m alive. I’m alive now. I’m here. Dearest, I’m here, finding the broken pieces.
I’m in our garden, and the moon has risen once again. And where she is, dawn follows.