A Time for Alchemy

(9 September, 2017 – one month after my gap year ended)

Hello. It’s been a while.

I sit in my dorm room. The sun, I assume, is bright outside, but I wouldn’t know. The shades are drawn tight, concealing all light except for a slight grey glow. I’m eating sunflower seeds, papers and clothing scattered all across my desk, sliding and slithering down onto he carpeted floor. My broken mirror, spiritless, lays on it’s side.

I’m a mess. I have been for some time now, but it’s only now that I can admit it. Since June, my life has felt like nothing more than a painful unraveling. I am less and less myself, my default character overtaken by a confused little girl within who has just woken from a dream. The powers she had in her dream seem to be gone as she walks towards all sorts of cliffs, forgetting that, in this reality, she can no longer fly.

But Meredith, you may ask, how could this happen to you? Your last blog post, “A Meditation,” describes the greater connectedness and acceptance you are feeling towards the world. You seemed to be so much clearer, so much more confident about your path!

And I would agree with you. I was. I felt like I was breathing for the first time in my life, like finally I was on the verge of knowing why I am here and what my purpose is. I was allowed to want something from the world, to want a place in it.

Now, I know nothing.

Throughout much of this blog, I wrote deeply from the heart. Like they have for my entire life, words seemed to rain down on me, and I trusted them to fall exactly into the place they were meant to be. The world around me made sense, I made sense.

Somewhere in the intricacies and folds of my gap year, the part of me so in tune with my words seemed to hibernate. Suddenly the well seemed to dry out, as each time I tried to write was like pulling up an empty bucket. And yet, at the very bottom of the well, I could somehow still see the purest water glittering deep and clear below.

As soon as I woke up today, my first thought was about leaving. With eyes closed tight, I wondered at what things I would need to bring with me if I were suddenly to walk out of my dorm room and never return. Up until recently, I would not have called myself a wanderer. But I am, oh how I am.

Yet I didn’t leave. Caught deep in my yearnings to be somewhere else, back into the dreamscapes of one of my journeys, I looked around me and realized that wandering doesn’t have to mean physically leaving a place. It doesn’t have to involve packing suitcases, flinging yourself into the adventure of fresh starts and new faces. Wandering is leaving everything behind, letting go. Answering better the riddle of who you are, not who you were, or where you’ve been.

It’s time for a deeper wandering. It’s time to find roots. It’s time for gravity to come back into my life, to gather myself into one beautiful essence of my own “elsewhere.”

It’s time for alchemy.


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