The Other Side

Today it was dark. Rainy. Thickly clouded and cool with a light penumbra of humidity. The sun was nowhere to be found for most of the day.
Autumn is approaching. Labor Day weekend (also my birthday weekend) is generally the start of the turning point towards fall, though technically the equinox isn’t until the end of September. Sure, we’ve got another couple of hit and miss weeks, but fall is coming. And I love it. I love the colors, the burnt oranges, rich reds, plush purples, corporeal browns. I love the new, swift breezes, the overcast mornings, and even the rain. Autumn is my spring. It’s full of new beginnings and fresh promises. Maybe it’s because I associate it with “back to school” time or my birthday, but regardless of the reason, it is most definitely my favorite season, and a time to start anew.
These past three weeks, while I have been recovering from my car accident, have allowed me to reflect on all that is amazing in my life. It has also allowed me the displeasure of sinking far into the Dark Void. At first glance, it has been a huge drag. I can’t dance, can’t run, can’t party. What do I have left when I my body won’t let me frolic in free physicality? Everything else, of course. What, exactly, is everything else?
At first it didn’t look like much, but when I took a breath, was patient and allowed the universe to bestow its knowledge on me, I realized it was actually a whole other world that I had almost forgotten. It’s what’s in between. It’s the pauses in life, the breaths we hold onto when singing a song, a millisecond of complete silence inside of a piercing glance. There is as much, if not more, to appreciate, in these gaps.
I’m finally seeing the true gift of it, and, just in time for the turning of the leaves and, yes, the rain, I welcome this new season and change of heart.

Photo credit: Padraic, via Flickr

Photo credit: Padraic, via Flickr

I am alone

I am alone. No more have I ever felt it. Alone. It echoes.
My immediate family is 2,400 miles away. I have no boyfriend, no husband, and no children. I am alone.
I’ve had this feeling before.
Some days, this feeling is about being single. There are a lot of times it’s about that, but today, it’s not.
Today, it’s deeper. It feels like a questioning of faith, of who I am.
I was in a car accident last week. I was hit pretty hard from behind, while sitting in rush hour traffic, and a week later I am still feeling sore, back spasming, not able to work a full day, struggling to figure out all of this insurance paperwork, and generally feeling really awful. I can’t sit up for more than a few hours without discomfort. I can’t dance. Can’t run. I’m in pain.
My heart is in pain as well. I go through periods of feeling very grateful for the friends and extended family who have offered me solace and brought me magazines, coffee, and company in my time of need. Then, something switches, and I let the sadness swallow me and I forget about those people; I sink into the void. The void is a dangerous place. It’s thick and black. It’s a place that keeps me very still, very quiet, and obscures my vision with heavy tears. It’s a pity party to the nth degree. And I must face it alone. Have you ever felt this way?
If I am injured and I can’t move, what good am I? In the last several years, the word movement has become one of the words that defines me. I have belly danced my way into discovering my femininity. I have salsa danced my way into understanding my sensual side. I have run straight into an athletic part of me that I never knew existed. Without those, I struggle to connect the dots that make up Becky.
Yes, I am a writer. Yes, I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, a unique spirit. But it has always been a choice to wear whatever hat I needed at the time. When those hats go from dozens to merely one, victim, in a matter of seconds, it’s jarring. And alone, I must figure out what to do with that. It’s not scary, but it is emotional. It’s this alone time that I should take to figure out the answers to the questions that we should all ask ourselves. Who am I? Why am I here?
I can see the light at the end of this, but I must accept the void as part of myself before I get there. It’s a dusty road, the grime clouding my eyes. Slowly, they will clear, but if someone could keep an eye on my glasses along the way, I would be grateful.