I want to hold on to the anger. It is the third stage, and the easiest. It is fuel, a white hot rise in the blood that ensures you don’t stay still when the world goes on around you. I barrel forward for a week after seeing that magazine, I start running, literally, every morning, when the sun hangs out with the moon and the black recedes to blue. You blazed into my life Mack, you altered my direction, and in these early mornings as my feet mark time on the gravel I know I am trying to run away from you, from Lucy, from a pregnant Anna on the cover of every women’s magazine.
Some mornings I am chest out, pounding the ground proud, having my own little revival – I can do this, look at me go. I can be strong alone. Other days, head down, I feel the soft sadness creep back in like a new morning rain and I run through it and in it, so slow as to almost stand still.
And some mornings I want to stop, right there on the river that watched you die. I want to let my knees buckle from the weight of my history, I want to lie down amongst the rotting leaves and yellowed grass of early winter and put my cheek against the dirt.
But I know that if I do this, I will never get up again. If I lay down the world will keep moving, it will not adjust its pace just because you and I have stopped. Anna will still be growing the baby you made when I loved you most, even Lucy will start to heal over, just like the scars on her hands she no longer hides. If I lay down now, people will simply run over the top of me, they have so many places to go that eventually they will not even notice that I am under their feet. The day will give way to a week, a month, a year, and I will not have moved from this spot. Everything around me will be in constant motion and I will be left behind. If I do this I will never get up again.
I keep going. I get up the next morning and I run with a little certainty, and the next morning, and the next. I keep going. Chest out, pounding the ground proud, I keep going. Even in the soft sadness I keep going. I sometimes think it is running that saves me.
Eidyia’s Note: This now belongs to Maggie Valentine, but the piece first appeared here, very early on, as my own experience:
It is so obvious now that all I needed to do was write. Just write. Even if you don’t know where it will take you. Just write. And keep going. It will all make a wonderful sense in the end …