In the last months it has been easy to see grief as the wellspring of every new thought and feeling. I have thought of it as a temporary madness, something to endure.
The inevitable slip-slide of ups and downs has had me tolerating more questions, learning to live without answers. I’ve studying myself like never before, wondering how this experience would shape me, where the story would end.
But I find myself recognising that what I feel now is simply who I am, who I have always been. There is a process to becoming and, whilst grief has made the climb quicker, it has not been driven the change. It was a path I seem to have been meant for. It found its way to my feet.
Loss strips away many things. The last year has felt like a process of sloughing off skins as the building blocks of my sense of self cracked, crumbled and dropped away. Friends got lost in silence, family stretched a bit too thin, my job was left behind somewhere else and money turned out to be paper thin. It all hurt but I am left feeling cleaner, leaner. Rubbed by rocks and washed by tears.
As things fell away I see the space that is me emptying out, and in that place of absence I have come to find myself, to seek.
The only problem is that I am not sure I recgnise the woman left standing there all alone. With that knowing of unknowing comes a nausea as if everything is moving a little too fast. I have hidden from myself. I’m not altogether sure I trust myself.
I am still a stranger. I have to work to do to grow closer, to know myself better and I don’t yet know who I will become. I need to commit to the labour of creation without knowing what I will make, whether it will be something beautiful.
But this is not grief, it is simply life.
I have surfaces and depths, layered like old rocks and green hills. They seem still, solid, but shift with slow creations, with the quiet ache of new worlds breaking into life.
I wander and walk, divining for deep flowing streams, underground rivers that shape me beyond sight.
I am trying to remember who I have long been, trying to become who I always was.