If You’re Reading
By Erin Belair
I am sick and that seems to be a blessing. Something to point at and put my finger on. It's only natural to want to know why and what goes on. I was convinced for days I was dying or losing my mind but didn't want to say either out loud. Like my brain had left the building, I'd been stripped of what little sense I have. And even worse, what talent I possess. I sat blurry eyed and watched the ocean move or the fire dance for five days straight.
I am someone who will talk a lot about how they hurt and what ails them, but it takes a lot to reach out and ask for help. On the phone, a woman named, Anne, tells me that I have to be cleared of those emotional ties if I want to be happy. That my sadness, possibly my sickness, isn't mine at all. I think about that a lot and try to pin down the places where it leaks in. I've thought that myself, this isn't mine, this isn't mine.
I cannot imagine what the two of you say to one another. Nor do I want to think of how you think of me, and still I worry. Anne tells me a hex can come just from one person wishing ill for you, enough that the energy binds itself and it gets hard to wriggle free from. If I could tell you anything I'd say, I am not trying to keep love from you. Perhaps under different circumstances, we even would have been friends.
I think one of the great lessons that the last seven months tried to teach me is the importance or the necessary effort to want to be what you are when you are it. No matter how hard a time, we will look back on it with some kind of nostalgia and want even if the want is laced with ache. We inevitably move on to new spaces and the thought will always be, I wish I had let myself be there more.
There will never be a life in which we do not ache, never again be so simple a time. As we grow older we collect rooms or spaces, times of our life that when revisited induce a kind of wonder at who we once were, who we once loved, and how badly we once hurt. Even when you move on the rooms remain the same.
I do not know what my point is, only that there are spans of life in which we want to fix things or assume if they were different everything would be better. But in reaching for that which does not exist right now prevents us from what we have right now. And there is something to be had here, and there is something you will miss here. Because even a sickness has something to teach us, bleary-eyed and staring out at the sea for days on end.