I see today we are heading toward the six-month anniversary of the Sandbox. I checked the page count.
It is 1,104.
I dream that I am a child, sequestered away from the others, as I am relegated to rolling up miles of crepe paper, impossible miles, impossible crepe paper. I am drowning in frustration, and then a group of little kids shows up. I see that I am one of them. But that also, I am not.
And I grasp how caught up I am in some sort of time-space warp.
I also dream that someone tells me my Sandbox is too long, that no one can read something this long, that somehow it’s just all a waste. And while I know that I should bask in the fertility of my mind, versus huddle in the shame of its flow, I still wonder: so many pages and what for?
It is Monday, I recognize. And Monday tends to bring fatigue, depression and sometimes anger, too.
I don’t have anyone in my life I can share with. And even if I chose something to share, I cannot even think about what I would share because it’s so huge now. If I share, I just feel like a burden. A one-thousand-one-hundred-and-four-page fucking mess.
I feel incredible loneliness.
I look up, to the sky, to my mantra, to something, to help ease this pain.
And of all things, I find Kris, the first woman I was involved with.
When I met her, Kris was a cancer survivor, recently re-diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her carotid artery; this tumor would come to haunt our relationship every day for four years. I was unable to commit because I was unable to watch her die. She screamed at me for my fears and accused me of discriminating against her because of her scars, her age, her diagnosis. We broke up and came back together like waves for the entire length of our relationship.
Eventually we moved on from one another and found ourselves back together as friends.
I was present in her dying process. And since she was spiritual and I am not, she promised to be blatant in her messaging after she died.
I forgot about this until three years later when on the morning of my 35th birthday, I was woken by a voice outside of myself; it was Kris who had come to say hello.
I began crying. I said that I missed her so much, and she said, don’t you see –– you’ve been given the best birthday gift. Ever.
I never heard from her again. But I realize now … she was right. That this would be and remain the best birthday gift ever.
It’s been a rough go lately, but Authenticity, still, I thank you. You feel like home to me, you feel like my religion, my faith, like wisdom without pretense or judgment. You tell me to listen to my voices in November, to write them down, to find my Parts and to trust in them. This morning you have me seek out Kris, and you remind me of her life, and her death, and the sprigs of my spirituality that spring up around her. You tell me that what I do is important, my words worthy, the effort every morning worth it, when I write your name before each entry.
Authenticity, you subtract sleep but add so much more than you take away. You are the walk in the hills I need, the courage I requested, the instinct that was always there.
This morning, in this very moment, you allow me to imagine sending my Sandbox to a friend far, far away who says she wants to see … everything. And it is in this imagining that I begin to feel it can be done. That I can finally perhaps share what is truly mine without shame.
And how will it feel to send everything if you do?
Oh. Relief. Sweet Relief. But wait — Authenticity?? You speak?
Relief. This makes sense. And thank you, S, for the props this morning.
Authenticity, thank you for coming out into the Parts! How exciting to see you.
My pleasure, S. How fun to meet you in the type this way!
Wow. I am kind of star struck. Does this make sense?
Of course. How alive I feel! To breathe, finally, the air that a Part breathes! Oh, thank you!
Wow. So … you’re a woman?
You are my …
Yes! I am your religion. I am your spirituality!
Wow. I want to know what you’re wearing.
Ah, S, how authentic of you! Would you like for me to be naked?
I am here for you, just like all your Parts, in whatever way you need.
Wow. I am so happy — so happy to meet you.
I can hike in the hills if you would like. How we love our meditations with our dog, Stella. How we look for small improvements in her gait.
A, how fucking cool. I mean eleven hundred pages, and I finally get to meet you. I have so many questions, so many walks I want to take with you.
I am flattered, S. And thank YOU for having me for so long, so consistently as your mantra. You are loyal, and your loyalty will be rewarded.
Thanks, A. I can’t wait to introduce you to everyone!
And I … I can’t wait to be introduced.
I spend my time this morning going back. For whatever reason, it is possible now in this moment to do so. I have had shame in the beginnings of my Sandbox. But I see it is loud and messy … just like birth. And there is a level of acceptance that feels … different.
I am not sure why, but it feels true. And good.
And I wonder … have I found my own religion, inside myself?
Or maybe more than maybe.
I see that faith and spirituality come with time and with shoveling. And faith and spirit are like lava, always, always erupting from within. My spirituality and faith cannot be found externally in the stained glass of a church. Or in chanting under the moon with a string of turquoise wrapped around my neck. My faith and spirituality are found each morning when I look inside and breathe and call out for … Authenticity.
And I am here, I am here, I am here.