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precious, pitiful, priceless, pointless...poignant

While helping my parents clean out the attic (oh, the things we keep hidden away in boxes...unused and unseen and unnoticed for years). I found some old letters. ..er, rather, copies of old letters. I am quite sure I sent them to the intended parties, in actual envelopes, not email...but I suppose I felt the need to keep copies of a couple of  'em tucked away in a box with French homework, my old, used pointe shoes, and an outfit for a Kermit doll...the naked Kermit was not to be found. 
This letter, written fifteen/sixteen years ago, was written to a boyfriend at the time. (I've left out the boyfriendy parts) 

I wonder if he, (do you know who you are? will you ever read this...again?) will remember it? 

Okay, this is truly random ---- Last night I dreamt of the day I found out my mom had Cancer.  It was an awful dream.  But ya know what…when I woke up, I realized, as hard as I try, I cannot remember that day.  The dream was not at all how it really happened.  And I have absolutely no idea why I dreamt about it.  Even weirder…when my parents told me, (I can’t even remember if they both told me, or just my dad, or my mom, or what), I do know it was at my grandmother’s house in Atlanta.  But it was the same house where, when I was about seven or eight, that my father told me there was no Santa Clause.  All I can see when I try to remember the Cancer part, is my daddy trying to tell me that Santa isn’t real.  That Santa isn’t alive at all.  When you hear that, it isn’t just that something doesn’t exist, it’s like a little part of you dies.  But you keep this stubborn brave face, like you knew it all along, or like it’s perfectly okay and you can handle it.  The same day my dad told me that, Brent, my older brother took me in the back room, (my mom’s room when she was a little girl, a little ballerina, the second story of the house, in the woods, out her windows all you see are tree limbs and leaves and I bet she thought she felt like she lived in a tree house), and he tried to tell me that there really was a Santa.  At the time, I was so mad at him, knowing he was a liar.  Later I think I realized he just didn’t want to see the fantasy end.  I wonder how my dad picked that day, that afternoon, that place and time.  What were the circumstances that finally turned “we should tell Jenny” into actually telling her?  I don’t remember any other part of that day, except that it was sunny.  But I don’t remember any of the Cancer day at all.  Isn’t that strange?  And why did this hit me, out of the blue?  Is it a sign?  A reality check?  Perspective?  Completely random?  …..it’s been six years and I haven’t dealt with it yet…why now?


Where IS that Kermit?

and later there was a full moon

 It is painfully beautiful outside today. The glittering glimmering light bouncing off and through the dancing leaves, sparkling white and yellow and white-gold like stars happening and the perfect perfect blue behind them, crystal clear, unbelievable, I want to drink it, be it, touch it, dissolve into it. how the breeze bends the whole wood like a chorus, cambré graceful and summer majestic, and a quiet chaos up top where the highest leaves celebrate the privilege of being closest to that blue, that perfect perfect blue. I can feel it I think. a perfect sky. I can feel it as though I was just born from it. We walk surrounded, shrouded by trees, thick and dense, yet each stands out to me right now. each individual characteristic, shape and size. some tall, some delicate, some still leaning at the strongers’ mercy after all our blustering spring storms. even as the chorus bows, these fallen won’t fall.
My brain buzzes at the ability to see everything at once. the breeze is not cooler than the temperature of the day. it just moves the comfort and lightness around us, just making it…more.  highlighting pleasure so subtly. There is green everywhere, greens and greens. with splashes of vibrant blossoms that are unbearable to see. it’s all too much. us;  I am walking my dog. This precious little button eyed creature as much teddy bear as puppy, prancing and nosing around, occasionally looking up at me, and then chasing a butterfly or a grasshopper. seriously. this would be cliché if not all together so spectacular. so peaceful. so inspiring. but I am not right inspired
I am sitting on a bench we recently put far out across the yard. wooden and cast iron, quaint and romantic. I asked to have it  put it here (unable to move it myself) because no one ever goes over here, far from the house and the stone patio my father created, the pond my father and brother built, the more concentrated landscaping and potted plants and where the children bike and skate and amaze us with chalk artwork forever disappearing with the rain or a washed car. It’s less manicured here around my bench, removed, reverse perspective, and it’s beautiful. a view none of us sees, none of us sees, save the ever disarmingly cute animal that is my dog, when he goes over there to hunt for squirrels that are nearly his size, and once found, terrify the wit out of him. wit in the singular only as opposed to plural…not Wit, as to imply there is a Wilde side to him that is overcome by fear of a beastly bushy-tailed rodent. It is simply the one wit. Anyway, I don’t think he really appreciates the view. I need a Bronte with me on this bench, or Keats, or, gee, Milne. smile. It is just that sort of a day, Piglet. or perhaps just my own notebook. I swear the animals are about to gather around and let me read to them, or sketch them.
this is hell.
I want to freeze it as much as I want to walk through it. I want to escape this as much as I want to saunter over every inch of our property, in bonnet and corset, or overalls and boots, (but please no more bandages and tubes and hidden wounds) through the blueberry bushes and wild flowers, around the pool, down to the creek, step on every stone path dispersed throughout that my father laid painstakingly to look as natural yet inviting as possible…past the path in the woods that runs from here to my brother’s house, on which I have watched my nephew…then my nephew and my niece…then my niece and two nephews walk hand in  hand to come visit us at Gramma’n’Pop’s house (where Aunt Jenny seems to be a fixture),  and go home. All at once I am in a state of such natural bliss, and so agitated with myself that I can’t claim it, hold it, save it…share it. I am not emotional. I am in my mind in motion. and I am still. A broken heart is mending. a sick and broken body is, too. Days like this, so magnificent, to the shaken and bruised, can be therapeutic and motivating as much as they can be the bittersweet essence of things fleeting, the unrealness of a perfect day. moments of lightness suddenly taunted and threatened by an absence, an UN-THING, a person not there. Him. that Me. Them. …it.
and so I think. and so it passes. and so I stop. and feel it. my sky. my perfect sky. I have been cut all over, cut open and had my insides twisted around and myself forcibly deformed and reshaped; left paralyzed and bleeding and leaking for months, felt pain I couldn’t have imagined. prolonged. literally and metaphorically. I let the doctors do it to me one way. I had meetings, while I was half naked, in a paper blousette thingy, sitting upright and holding in my stomach as though that would make my cancer look nicer…and they, in pants and shirts and belts and comfortable shoes (for all the patient seeing in a day you see takes a toll) and extra coats with sidekicks and I signed forms and said go ahead, do as you please.
It’s so ideal. outside right now. on my bench. I blink at the flickering canopy. this is a gorgeous day. my skin feels flawless, other worldly in this air. I don’t have skin. I am the air. the blue blue blue blue blue sparkly leaves. He did it to me without my permission. It was a cure for his unhappiness.
But he cut me, twisted my heart and my mind. he knew what he was doing, as much as the doctors did. the doctors were there when I woke up. he wasn’t. he left me to bleed. left. left. left me paralyzed. in pain I couldn’t have imagined. so so confused. and I miss him today. I miss him on this bench. I don’t want to. I want to be content here by myself. But I can’t when I miss him, because he is here. he is here and not here all at once. and he’s content to be so. and my puppy bounces, and I walk a bit towards the house, from my bench, and I feel…nothing. Oh but it isn’t bad. it isn’t a cold lack of love or light. I’m not sad.  it is like nature. the way those flashing dancing leaves and the breeze and the grass and the strong trees and the leaning resting trees and the view itself all don’t feel. I am not sad. I am not happy. I am pleased, and pleasant. And then I look at my sky. my rich and glorious sky, and I can feel it. I can feel it. And I do believe with all my heart that there is happiness in this blue, or maybe hopefulness. And it may rain tonight, or tomorrow. I know those skies. But I do feel something now. I feel hope. clean, infinite, crystal blue, flying soaring peaceful