The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

 

 

4/15/16

7:35AM

Authenticity

 

A

How was therapy yesterday?

 

S

I took a defensive posture. And it took T about one second to pick up on it. 

 

T

You usually come with work to do, open your laptop, begin right away. Yesterday…you were waiting around…for me. For something. I don’t know. I just know things were different. 

 

S

I responded and went on to say that it’s hard to feel heard, to feel felt in this place I’m in. I feel lost; in between two worlds now. One book done, another probably started long ago but I’ve yet to find it. 

 

It likely began more than a thousand pages ago. 

 

There are so many beginnings and endings in life. It is hard for me to sort through. Hard for me to face. I do not like beginnings or endings much at all. 

 

I like middles. 

 

MLG

To have a middle

We need a start and an end

So why can’t we make 

This process our friend

We have gold in our hands

We know this is true

And more gold to come

When the daylight breaks through.

 

S

I remember wanting to write about Astro Park and sitting there, perplexed. I had written a few beginnings and I remember just being stumped about where to start this story about this park. How exactly did it begin? I began to write about the perplexing choice of finding a beginning…

 

MLG

Our lives, unfolding not like one novel but like a hundreds of them, we must choose where we begin, where we end, what we tell.

 

S

Thanks, Monkey. It’s truth, these thoughts about beginning and endings. There are thousands perhaps even in a week depending upon how you wish to view things. But certainly in a lifetime there are many. But for me…beginnings and endings are so hard that I end up just feeling sad, confused and grasping inside. 

 

T

The sadness you feel, the lack of anchoring, are feelings below the cloak of amnesia, painful feelings that were blocked and covered up to survive. These feelings have grown restless beneath this cloak, you can feel them more rustling beneath, stretching the fabric, their contours more pronounced. 

 

You are, S, awake. 

 

S

I’ve been struggling to come up with something parallel—something to help me describe me to me. And in therapy yesterday I think I get it when I land on Rip Van Fucking Winkle. It perfectly suits the surreal nature of waking up. I don’t know anything about the story other than a guy wakes up after sleeping through a war, the American Revolution. 

 

Sleeping through a twenty year war. This is about right. 

 

Except I appear to have been sleeping for much longer. 

 

My story these past years has been that I am struck suddenly one day with a fierce and firm passion to save a park, to help it remain a big swath of green for the neighborhood. I am brought to my knees by the effort, spend four years and thousands of hours making sure that this patch of green has a voice—thousands of voices—that scream out to protect it. 

 

We win, finally, and as I fall down from exhaustion at the end I land nearly immediately somewhere else…in a land inside my mind filled with her…filled with daisies demanding to be plucked…demanding the question be answered…does she love me…or love me not? 

 

I am in a land filled with equal parts passion and grief. Transported in the blink of an eye and I cannot get back home. I cannot find Pete. And I wonder if I’ll ever find my way. 

 

I never do. 

 

I only get here. To this day, to this moment, to maybe a slightly better understanding. To an appointment with a trauma specialist where I declare that I’m just like Rip Van Fucking Winkle, a fairy tale this morning that fits like a glove. 

 

Teresa tells me that the amnesia, in so many words, accounts for a lot of these feelings of…where have I been? Who am I? Who now writes like the wind?

 

I cannot put myself together all that well…but it was me, I just wrote a book or rather, I seem to have carved one out of the enormous production of lava that seems to erupt endlessly from within. I think I did a pretty good job. I think I delivered at least one book to that little girl in the garage, the one with those blank sheets of paper, the one who wanted to write but had no idea, really, what she was up against nor what to say about it all. 

 

I tell Teresa I am equal parts joy and grief. Joy to find passion in life, to feel my arms wrap around each day and a pinch-myself in the finding of all that I am. 

 

And grief for all the time lost. And perhaps unarticulated grief surrounding what exactly it was that I endured that caused me to fall asleep for so long. 

 

This morning I am Rip Van Fucking Winkle, I think. Awake and still shaking my head. Disoriented each day to a degree. Trying desperately to orient myself. 

 

I am stumbling out of bed each morning trying to get my bearings. 

 

Is this me…I wonder? 

 

All—

 

MLG

5842 pages. 

 

S

Is this me…I wonder? All—

 

MLG

897 days. 

 

S

Volume fifteen, we average now over five pages a day. We are a story unfolding, never ending until I die. Or at least this is my hope. And it is my hope too that there is enough lava and enough time for me to keep finding myself, enough material where I can carve myself out, over and over again.