I’ve just been checking my heart. There’s not as many cracks as I remember. The road trip got me looking at again, I’d been too busy to pay much attention to it.
I’m back at the site of The Big Break-up. I’d walked for hours through this landscape, dumping my grief as I went. There’s tears in them there hills. And snot and rage and loss and an endless fear of being still – like the pound of my feet was all that was keeping my heart going. If I stopped, I’d …stop. Up until then I didn’t know losing someone could make you feel physically ill, it gets you right in the guts. I couldn’t eat for days.
I walk through these hills again. The landscape has changed but little. I’ve changed a lot. Still, I can feel the ghosts of my grief coming down to tag along. I left them behind, and now they’re catching me up. Maybe I’ve carried them all along, brought them here so they could come back to life.
It’s not so much the baggage, it’s the shrapnel. Emotionally eviscerated. Torn wide open, who you are, what you thought was your life, blown wide open. A big gaping wound that hurts to breathe. You don’t think the pain will ever end, don’t think you can bear it. But you can. It heals. Slowly, filling in from the edges, like a tree with a broken branch. It takes time, but the gap closes.
It’s the bits left behind, the debris grown over in the rush to heal. It’ll fester until it comes out. Shrapnel. There’s bits festering in me, old fears from old memories, triggered by a new man. It’s not his fault, he doesn’t know, he’s probably working on bits of his own. But in learning to risk again, to love again, is the remembrance of how it went wrong, a desire to not go down THAT path again. But still you have to go down SOME path, and you can’t see much ’round the bend until you walk it.
So I walk these paths, with these ghosts. Remember who I was …and who I am. Remember everyone is different, it will be different, in part because I’m different. Find gratitude for the man who makes me feel the things that scare me, so I can look at what they are, make friends with old ghosts, and let them go.