One by one I peeled away the sheets and the duvet from my skin, only to walk into the main room of our home and see the curtain pulled back a few feet and a new blanket of soft grey clouds coming toward me, wrapping me up, deceptively sad and cold – they look so soft and peaceful from afar.
Around my mind and heart they reached with arms damp with regret and fear and worry and yes, even that slightest bit of pain. Like a needle, so small but I’m so aware of its presence, slowly pushing through the layers of tissue around this cross-stitched heart.
At least I can feel, I think to myself, my mouth twisted and eyes slightly closed, chest expanding with air as I promise myself if I only breathe deep it won’t feel like I’m suffocating. It’s funny what property owners say about open spaces; sure, there may be no walls in between my kitchen, my dining area and my living room, but they don’t tell you that an open floor plan is only as open as the heart of the person moving in.
So many choices flash through my mind as I ask myself what’s the next right step and try to slough away the clouds from my insides and outsides. Today is a long shower that’s running out of hot water, teasing me with streams of liquid growing colder, subtly, until the chill hits and goose pimples break out and cover me too. I race to find warmth.
So many things covering me, so many layers that are not my own skin. I want to strip down to dry bones and walk away from the pieces of me that are still warm because sometimes its the living that is so hard. Bones don’t have eyes to see and judge or mouths to speak words that harm or flesh to wound or hearts to feel regret.
But bones cannot feel joy either. Bones shatter and turn to dust much faster than this body will. Aches and bruises, confusion and chaos, damp clouds that darken a morning. I must keep in mind those mental photographs of the sunsets that take my breath away with colors that have no name. I must remember the early morning light that paints my windows with silver and gold. I cannot forget the sun and its warmth as it soaks into my skin warming away the coldness of moments like these.
Hold on. Hold on.