I’ve been thinking about your words tonight. I saw friends in the city and caught the train home. Alone on the train I sat thinking. I walked home from the station. Walking home from the station I was thinking. Late into the night I was thinking.
I hugged my jacket close to my skin, remembering how I used to imagine my clothes as a protective shield when I was on exchange. Moments like this, when you’re gone, remind me of when I was younger. These moments as in that lengthiness of being apart from you. It reminds me of more independent go-getter me. Backpacking-around-Europe-me. Meet-people-on-the-streets me. The-adventure-me : the adventure you despise.
I was thinking about how that changed when you came. The way you expanded into my life like a breath. I remember for moments, feeling so small, feeling like you outgrew me, my space, the portion I took up. I remember you being large and me being small. I remember you charismatic and shouty. And me as quietly confident. And i remember feeling confused because i could always manage it all. I could be charismatic and loud and strong, but there you were casting shadows over me. And then you were life and adventure, and weighty, expansive breath. I was so perplexed by it. But then you contracted just as you expanded and made space for me to be my truest self. In the blink of an eye, at the end of a breath, we balanced out. Like the constellations of the set of balances. And we set about a weighty expansive life together.
We’ve always wanted a life that is weighed with tangible significance. I know you want heavy burdens, roots and all. But you’re talking like a life of travel and the pursuit of dreams equates as some inconceivable lightness. You’re flinching at the concept of flitty, up in the air, head in the clouds. And I love that you are grounded. And that you want to be grounded. But Wil I want you also to see the freedom that you have. Freedom, not necessarily to travel, but to be. To breathe. Don’t see purpose as boxes ticked, or rather weighed down in papers of things achieved. We’ve talked about the journey from a to b so many times. I hear you stubbornly resisting that you could be free from the boxes you put yourself in. And that your life could still have meaning.
Do you remember the conversations we used to have about holding heaviness and lightness in two hands?
Don’t see these lack of anchors: book, baby, bottle as a corpulent burden. Feel the waiting with a wind of liberation. We need not see our lives as beginning once those foundations have been laid. It began so long ago. And I can’t wait to have you back and live the life we have shared for so long now. The life that’s lived between brushing your teeth and you forgetting your keys.
Go outside. Get out of the cafe. Stand on the foundations of Rome that have been laid for thousands of years. Hold up your finger to the sky, feel the wind. Feel the now. Be acutely aware of where you are. Discern the way the wind is blowing. And write it all down.
How many times have we talked of the life as one of sejourning? Of setting up camp and feeling free to pack it up again. Of heaviness and light. Of empty and full. Of resilience, failure, success and being okay. With or without earthly anchors.
I breathe again. I miss you here. I miss all the space you take up and the lack of space you leave. There’s no better exhale than in your arms, where I feel heavy lightness.