2017. And of course you come to my mind. And you. And you. And you too. And the rapturous hands, the wild-eyed stares, the firmament of dreams dizzying into space. And life splayed out in hues and tones – learning and listening and loving and losing and lingering. The fizzle and the pop. I rang it in with Dan and Rose at a Chalk and the Beige concert at Social. I fumbled and fizzed, got my first book published just 2 weeks into the new year. The news just tipped into my e-mail inbox like a little whisper. We marched and we watched the strange man take the strange office on a strange day in January. Then we flew to New Orleans – dancing about the candy-cane streets and soaking up coffee bean trills and trails of haunted alleyways, dissonant paintings, twirling saxophone solos into the night sky. Then to Key West, rising with the sun out across the horizon of the Gulf in the morning as Jamie ran about the porch and gazed over the ocean. And the rage I had at the world, at the news, at the amount of political information I was consuming. I was consumed. We came home to a new home and tried to unpack. Tried to unravel. And unravel we did. And learn about Kindergarten. And sink my feet in, my toes, my hands. And one day, somehow, I thought to show up to little old church in Newtown, and read a part with a man I didn’t know. And we walked to our cars under the little town streetlights and wished each other good luck. And we all laughed our way through the Philadelphia Story. Howling and calling for line and rolling funny words through funny accents in our mouths. The spring burst through the muddy earth – all tulip-tailed and bright-eyed wailing at the moon. The divorce gavel clung and bellowed and we built a garden together. And Jamie and I planted new seeds, and learned how to care for them, what to give them. The season spread and sang and sweltered, we played out our merry play. I found myself in passing memories, sleeping in the sweat of the porch on the couch, every night – just to gather the insect sounds into my brain. I ran about the streets of Yardley, I played on hollowed stumps. I laughed with you, I drank cider down, we curled out memories about the midnight bells of clanging little town curfews. I sang, you sang. I listened to you sing to me all the way home. All the way to your home. I hungered through visions. I kept your heart on repeat. I flew to Florida, I frolicked about with my cousin, we danced daisy-dreams and kept our inner children alive and well-fed. I choreographed Spring Awakening. Guzzling dregs of coffee and sweltering in the sun-fed grass. I drove hours and hours on the turnpike to Wilmington and back – as the summer sun set on the horizon and the toxic glow of heat haze settled around all that traffic-frozen metal. The skyline of Philadelphia in the mid-July heat, from the highway, all plentiful and reflective. I sat next to the cello in the orchestra pit which was 30 feet in the air on the catwalk in a big, resonant theatre in Delaware and felt my heart pound of my chest with this music. This ever-singing music. I remembered to be grateful. I drove myself home one final time and started again. In a little old theatre in a green, lush state park. With one man and one director. With two friends. And one stage. And we walked it, back and forth and back and forth. Getting the words into our mouths, getting our mouths into the space. And we laughed and we read aloud and we sang out loud and we joked our way into relationship. We bounched and lurched to through Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas. I tumbled my way about San Diego and Minneapolis. I pearled my way through the mountains of Pennsylvannia to Gettysburg and beyond. The summer stretched out like a violin – music on every whispered turn. And the leaves turned ashen and blood red, the world darkened with a breeze and a chill, and the yellows and browns came out of hiding. The world kept spinning, the breezes filled with applecrisp and wanderfeet. I found my dancing feet again, I met new people, I twirled about in mystery and confusion. I took new jobs, I shot so many pictures. I loved without abandon.
And here’s to you. And here’s to you. And here’s to standing in the middle of the street under the June moon in Newtown. And here’s to watching The Office on a twin sized bed with no sheets. And here’s to Jamie’s cracked open smile, his wide-lipped words, his knatted hair that dreds and knows nothing but wilderness. Here’s to cobble headed words and stagelights drenching makeup and tights and highheels and fake pearls and trenchcoats and wobble-dresses and fishnets and boots. Here’s to wind in your hair. To Mohonk Mountain and to fresh water spilling forth free-swimming fish. Here’s to roadtripping half-way across America to be able to spend some time with my glorious and gracious grandfather. Here’s to cooking, to making, to painting. To listening. To Nahko. To sweatlodge. To riding roller coasters in 19 degree weather. To fumbling for fingertips interlaced. To kissing on stage. To kissing in cars. To my own book in my own hands. To the snap and click of the camera. To the rage and reticence of never knowing. To the wonder of wishing. To the firmness of time, passing around me like a dream. Like a memory worth having. Like a June worth tasting. Like a December worth letting go.
My life is anonymous. My moments happen on a little street in a little town. My memories are my own. My moments are my own. But they are rich and lush and golden and textured and hued and my life is full of magic and growth and vision and sight and color and solitude and crowds and courage and breath and ferocity and love. And love. And love.
And the world spins on, and my heart furls outwards, and love buries me in a cocoon. And the snow drenches the sidewalk, and the sun searches for surrender, and the earth does her funny dance. I know you now, and I know you now. And I know you now. And I know more of myself, more of the earth, more of this wild unfolding. I don’t know how to unknow you now. I am grateful to know you now. To feel you always in my heart.
And the new year. We all need this, so profoundly. To be able to psychologically start over. It’s a profoundly meaningful ritual for me, and I am grateful we have an arbitrarily agreed upon restart date. For rebirth, for renewal, for release. This ritual is probably the most meaningful holiday we celebrate as a society, for me. Our consciousness matters, and is affected by the silly arbitrations we put on our psychological boxes. The dates, the months, the years. The strange ticking of an artificial clock. Our coding, our ways of compartmentalization and measuring up a life. It matters, it all matters. And I am grateful for the circle, for the cycle, and for the moment in between all moments – to reflect, to honor, to release and to begin again. To try to attempt to do better. To more magic. To all magic. To everyday magic. Always.
And always know that yes, without a doubt, and without a regret: you mattered to me. And you mattered to me. And you mattered to me. And we existed. We all existed together.
And everything always matters.