So near, so far, so in between

September has been a busy month. I have only read a single book in the past two weeks, and it has been a re-read of Through the Looking Glass. If there has been an appropriate time in my life to read it, it is now.

I am glad to bid goodbye to the summer. It is finally sinking into me that I have left the debris of the past few years behind, that I am here, now, so near, so far, and so in between the past and the future.

I had disliked writing here during the past two years, since so many of my beliefs had been in flux, though I had done it anyway, fulfilling a promise I had made myself when I had first arrived in this country.  More than only the pure and the pleasurable must be documented, for me to see and know how much has passed, when I look back years later.

I had felt crippled, unable to write, unable to find pleasure in old joys. Music had only saddened me, had only left me drained. It was not an easy period. It ended when I finally gave in to the truth, about how unfairly cruel all of it had been, about how I had exercised stupidity and patience to great extents, about how I had chained myself to a life that was not working for me, to a life where I had felt so emotionally repressed that even words and music had left me. When I accepted, when it ended, when I picked up the pen and my words flowed once more, when I listened to Mendelssohn and felt more joy than sadness, I was wretchedly grateful for time and the balm that had not been easy to find in Gilead.

I have been called vain for my preoccupation with myself, but is it vanity when I have always been motivated by myself, when the strongest grounding I have found is when looking deep inside? No external source has sufficed. I no longer wonder why. Most of us have to go through life, trying to find a faith that makes sense to them, trying to find a voice that calls to their soul. I had been lucky and stupid both; lucky in that my grounding has been within me, has worked for me all my life; stupid in that I had thought that it was incomplete, that there was something more outside, in faith or family or love.

I have been drastic about cutting ties to the past, to what was only grief and incompleteness. I know what I am looking for now, in myself, and in the world. Knowing eases me, leaves me determined to say no to offers imbalanced and people less than whole in themselves. I don’t want a state of fine, not anymore, not when I know there is a great deal beyond that.

I feel awake, after a long time, and there is more than only music and words in my heart after many years. Love had been heavy, as far as I can remember, more a duty than a pleasure, more an expectation placed upon me than something that came freely, and I had felt more shackled than empowered by it. It had bettered me, I believe, in many ways. It had also been a long, long fall, with little reprieve, and I had been emotionally exhausted.  It had not come without a cost, and very little about it had been unconditional. I had felt used. It is a peril of the game, I suppose, particularly given my sensitivity. Sensitivity serves me when I write, it serves me when I play an instrument, and it serves me not when interacting with the world. It has taken me all my life to learn to detach.

I played today for an audience for the first time in a while, since last year. Granted, it was only someone who knows me well, but it is progress. I did not feel flayed by emotion when I played Schubert. I feel stronger, in being able to express emotion once again, in a manner I love to, through words written and through chords played. It is good to be slowly rid of the fears that had settled in after one too many instances of being taken advantage of, of being used as a pawn in someone’s power-games.

Not everything has fallen into place, but not everything is out of place now.

It has been difficult at times, and it has taken longer than I had expected, but this wholeness of my own is more beloved to me than anyone else has been. I feel more prepared now to do what I have always wanted to do; to accept the company of a partner, an equal who will match me in heart and will. I feel more prepared to build a life, a love, and a legacy together.