I was sitting in Barnes & Noble, looking through Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and feeling very surprised that I was feeling no apprehension, no tension just sitting exposed in the world.
As I sat in the oversized upholstered chair, one leg curled under me, and read her accounts of travels, I started to understand that she wa describing her travels as a series of rooms she passed through, pretty rooms where she had some interaction or other.
I lifted my eyes to the huge room I was in now, full of shelves & books & people, and realized how much time I have actually spent in the room. For me, life has not been a series of rooms, but rather it has been a series of doorways, gaps between here and there, us and them, past and present, possibility and loss.
I heard the sound of my life as a series of door slams and pounding heartbeats, liminal and lively, but always between and betwixt.
Is it possible, I wondered, to actually be in the room, like I am now? There is a reason that places I have lived always feel like warehouses, store rooms stuck between the wall and the public world outside. Steel shelving piled with plastic bins, holding possibility, rather than warm rooms filled with interaction, holding love.
Is it actually possible for me to be in the room? It is, only if I am present for myself and not simply negotiating the space between worlds, between their space and the other.
One challenge people have with my writing is the transitory nature of it. There is no through line, no stopping place, rather it is all motion and transition, mercurial thoughts and passing emotions. You can’t just settle with me, you have to move as I move, and that motion is rapid, challenging and wearing. I don’t invite you into my room, rather I take you along on my journey, clip clip now, here here, move along, come this way.
But yesterday I just felt in the room, like I was centered and supposed to be there.
Can I keep that up when my parents return, and demand I hop and bop between their world and others? I don’t know. I doubt it.
But yesterday I was in the room.
And it wasn’t bad at all.