“Today the world feels huge. But the distance feels small. Like no matter where you are, I will never be too far from you.
Outside, it is one of those nights that I can hear the ocean from my window. But its not quiet. There is a celebration on a porch a few houses down. I don’t mind the noise. I try to sleep but I can only think of your window somewhere. I know the view, but I wonder what sound it is filtering through. What are you listening to tonight? I wonder what the cat across the way is doing. And how many humans are stumbling drunk on the sidewalk below.”
I wrote that two weeks ago. But since the night I scribbled it down I haven’t felt anything except your distance. That is the last night I still had you.
My best friend is a little harsh in her honesty, but in the fashion I love her for–
“Fix your crown.
that you are.”
–So she says.
So instead of texting you good morning, I flipped open my computer and started scrolling through pictures of fabric. Pictures of ikats and indigos. This doesn’t cure my pain, but it certainly soothes my heart. I politely, consciously push aside any negative feelings that arise. If I still have yet to meet someone who wants to accept my love, if my heart continues to be rejected by those I push it out to, it does not mean I will stop pushing it out. I am full and I am bright. Loving is beautiful. It feels good. It is never wasted. And I am not afraid of what it brings anymore— Though I think it certainly takes a special soul to make me feel that way.
Stepping onto the morning sand, I can feel its heat rise up through my legs and pulse into the rest of my body. I feel it deep in my abdomen, in my chest, and across my cheeks. The breeze is cool, but the sun is in full shine.
I sit drinking, gulping, guzzling all of its rays through my skin. Soaking. Soaking. Soaking. Refueling. A small moan slips out from between my lips. A moan like when you turn the shower just a little bit hotter than you can stand. A moan like when you graze your fingertips past a soft, well-woven textile. A moan like when you press your face up to the glass in the bakery and drool over the fruit tarts… Yea… Did you just make that sound to know the one I’m talking about? Haha. Yea. That’s the one.
I lay paralyzed in the sun. Tranced. I try to move my arms, to wiggle to my side to put on some music, but the sun decides all we need today is the sound of the wind and the sea.
This time last June we were slugging shots, staying up all night, making out on the dock and crawling into each others beds. We were clueless. We had ideas of our impossible dreams but we were broke and hopeless, living each day by the summer promise of sunshine and vodka. Who knew a year from then we would be sitting at the same bar together, laughing about the past 12 months… God, has it only been a year since I’ve seen you? It feels like forever ago. Now our dreams are coming together. Our lives are working out. Our risks are paying off…..
We have all heard the story a million times. We have seen the post. We have read the blog. But here we are, real, normal, just… average, everyday kids… two testimonies for following your hearts. I can smell you on my skin, just a small hug and a smile–but I remember that smell that is stuck on me now. The smallest moments, the people who take the littliest bit of your time can have such a huge impact on your perspective.
The rain is pouring. It sprays through the screen onto the rug and the corner of the mattress, but I would never consider closing the window.
Nathan is on a spiritual journey to find healing and connection through the sharing of experiences and ideas. He lost this wife due to complications of lupus a week after their wedding last fall. He is a loose, fluid traveler, openly following his heart and wherever the universe pushes him each day. I miss having that kind of openness to the day, having faith and believing you’ll get where you need to… not where you want to.. but where you need to.
His smile is thin, crooked in a deceptively carefree kind of way. It stretches between two freckled cheeks that lift with ease despite his pain. He openly discusses death and his struggle, but his presence remains sweet and light. He also talks about his dreams.
I lay in bed thinking. My hosting skills are rusty. I’m nervous and shy and my conversation skills aren’t the best any more. But for the first time in awhile I have shifted my focus outside of myself. This story is his. This adventure is his. After a long, dark few months of me, mine, I– what do I need? What makes me happy? How do I want to live?– it feels good to open up and absorb some of a strangers pain. I am a traveler with many unpaid debts, so here I offered a couch. And here I am only a couch. I am only a small piece of love and support for him to open up and travel through to, among the many others he is drifting past.
I used to hike with this guy. His trail name was Big Foot. We got separated on one stretch of trail and never crossed paths again. Lots of people out there obsess about blogging or journaling their journey. Big foot just had this little spiral notebook. “I have to find something beautiful to write about every day. Just one or two sentences. It helps keep me positive, because some days it’s really hard to make yourself find something beautiful.”
I haven’t thought about Big Foot in awhile. I regret getting separated from him, as he was a very kind, gentle man. I remember limping along through the grass outside of Warner Springs. Every step, my feet felt like they were going to snap in half, pain shooting up through my legs, the hot red sun rising in the cool blue morning haze, and Big Foot shrinking in the distance as he got further ahead. I remember racing up a desert hill with him on my heels, resting in the shade with him, cowboy camping on a desert bluff back in the bushes… under the stars… I remember a stretch of days, maybe a week or two, where I always thought I was going to turn a corner and see him sitting there. Sometime along, after many disappointing corners, I heard he had gotten off trail. I never saw Big Foot after that.
The Avalon minute. It’s our little family inside joke, a spin off of the fast paced New York minute. In this little beach town, down here in South Jersey, it takes an hour to do a minutes worth of work. Around here, we wake up before 7am, but we can never seem to get to the beach before 11. Mornings are long. We don’t do much. We sit around and drink coffee and somehow always act surprised when we look at the time. “11 o’clock!” Psh. like we didn’t know this happens every weekend. Pajamas and bathing suites. Thats all we wear around here.
Coffee cups, newspapers and cigarette butts are always scattered across the porch. We sit with our feet up on the banister, listening to the sea gulls, watching the fisherman across the street organize his things.
I take a breath through my nose, appreciating the mixed smells of salt, marsh and sunscreen. “There is just something special about the air here. Specifically Avalon. It feels good. Just breathing here makes you happy. Salt water heals, right?”
My dad smiles. “That’s what my mom used to say. ‘You got a cold? Go to the beach. You got poison ivy? Go to the beach. Diarrhea? Go to the beach!”
The street below us grows noisy as the morning progresses. Eventually we move inside, brush our teeth and wash our faces. When you’re here, there is nowhere you have to be, nothing you have to do. A bike ride? Sure! A walk down to the jetty? Why not! Shall we go out to dinner? Ok. Or maybe we will just sit on the porch and watch the sunset on the marsh through the bottoms of our beer glasses. That sounds good too.