Monday, June 25, 2012

Staircase Part 3: Keep Going

After reading the last post I talk to my Mom.

You drowned? she asked. Yes, I tell her, then wonder why I hadn't told her before.

I thought we talked a lot, and I guess we always have, but I haven't always talked as easily as I do now.

And also, this was before email, before texting, before free long distance and a gazillion rollover minutes on the cellphone plan.

Then I told her that this was the way through it, straight to Abuela and to Cuba and to finally unravel the riddle that she already knew and Abuela already knows and really is only a riddle to you.

 This is how I got there, this must be the way to go, I explain.  She understood.

My dad sent me a one line email. It said "Keep going."  He gets it.

Now that I know what I've learned I want to go to Santo Domingo (now), and write about that. I want to go to New Orleans (now), and write about that. I want to understand the first settlers of Quebec, the ones who walked with Champlain, the ones who left and became the Cajuns. They are my family, too.

Every time I look in the mirror I nod at my very French self. But that is now.

Let's go back to then, back to where we were, back in my history, pulling the roof off and letting the light in.

Outside of therapy part of my mind had awakened to the realization that I was profoundly bored and underchallenged.

  I used to have a dream someone was holding a gun to my head; the idea would make me so scared that  I  I would shake in my sleep and then wake up paralyzed.  No more. Having genuinely felt like I'd gone through some sort of dying I lost almost all my fear.

I started painting pictures of coffee cups.

I painted planter pots bright colors and decorated them with roses, swirls, quotes, fish.

I planted seeds and stared at them, hopefully. I  painted coffee cups on  tiles and coffee cups on murals.

I decorated tiles and planters and murals with lyrical depictions of fruit bowls,  pie slices and flower arrangements.

 Weeks before I'd never painted in my life. The only grade of "C" that I got in Middle School was in Art.  Suddenly I can't stop thinking about colors, about shapes.  Every blank piece of paper looked like gift, a space to be filled with something lyrical, something pretty, something better, like it was waiting there for me.

I didn't realize it at the time but as the days slipped into weeks, I didn't think about my weight as much.

I didn't think about food as much.

I lighten up and loosen up and laugh more, no matter how particularly tight or loose my jeans felt that day.

I kept going back to therapy.