Mountains and Holes
Here is a tip. If you take six or seven Aleves throughout the course of the day in a blinding fit of cramps (really not as bad as it sounds … 2.5 Aleves = 1 prescription dose of naxproxen sodium, usually known as Anaprox, which every teenaged girl I ever knew carried around in her purse) and then down two Tylenol PMs before bed, you might wake up after about three hours of sleep clutching your entire abdomen and thorax in horror because of the startling sensation that one of your vital organs is in the process of eating itself. It wasn't even like my stomach was upset … it was like a horrible gnawing feeling in just below my rib cage that woke me up out of a dead sleep and sent me walking around my house totally mystified as to what to do. I took a sip of water. I leaned against the kitchen counter. I positioned myself uncomfortably in bed and read The Bean Trees. It was not the best. I really thought it was overdoing it on the medicine, but it happened again last night at almost exactly the same time (2:30, lovely) after I'd taken no medicine, and I didn't know what to do except turn on Joan of Arcadia and let go, let God. I'm going to the doctor anyway next week, so I guess I'll put this on the list because I've got to tell you, it's a strange and sucky sensation. Definitely not stomach but not really chest either. But more chest. No idea.
This entry by Chiara blew me away. It is so strange how certain days and certain people and certain places can be burned in your brain and in your heart and change you in ways that you don't even realize until months later. Or maybe you know right away that they will, but you're not sure how yet and don't figure it out until some time has gone by and you wait and wait to understand and then one day you are like, whoa. I understand. It's been a year. And look at me then, and look at me now. I am different and the same. Chiara understands and writes about the dichotomies of life so well, and we've discussed them a lot together without ever really naming them that. Feeling strong while feeling scared. Feeling heartbroken while feeling free. Feeling like certain parts of you might be a little bit dead inside while never feeling more alive. Chiara knows these things.
Tamar is one of the very first people who ever read my journal and wrote to tell me that something in my primitive, ignoramus style of coding was messed up and the entries were cutting off. Of course I started reading her journal and was touched by her writing and eventually I think that's how I ended up knowing Toni because they were friends and worlds collided because Toni ended up being right in my own backyard and I need to see her again soon, but anyway, Tamar is totally up and moving across the freaking country, and I am awed by that. She's packing up her cats and her child and her husband and herself and they are leaving this amazing home and starting a whole new life. People are brave.
I think moments like these are among my favorites when it comes to reading people's online journals, because it's like a huge plot twist in a story. Only it's not a plot twist, it's someone's life, and let's face it, lives are way more interesting when they are for real. Especially when you've been following them for years and years and you wait and wonder what is going to happen next.
I don't even know what I'm saying. Except that Melissa's having Montreal adventures all summer and Tamar's moving thousands of miles from home and Chiara's rocking her new digs in Seattle and Amy's watching the Michael Jackson verdict with me and Elizabeth's sending me crazy, funny postcards and not killing me when I don't return her Firefly DVDs for seven months, Jessie's continuing to perpetually be in motion, another Jessie is still posting stunning pictures of her stunning child and writing words that pretty much are guaranteed to make tears shoot out of my eyes every time I read them, Grace still has the loveliest site I think I've ever seen and has graciously shared some of her time and talents with me off the Internet, and Lisa is reminding me via e-mail after all these years how Pan helps Lyra do what she is otherwise afraid to do.
(I need to reread those books, I really do. I loved them so much. At least the first two. [What is going on with these new covers? Good lord.] I really think I need to give The Amber Spyglass another chance because I don't love it like I love the first two and that has always kind of pained me a little bit. [At least it still has a normal cover.])
Again, I don't even know what I am saying. Except that these women -- and many others -- if I didn't name you, it does not mean I do not think you are the bee's knees -- are good to know, and I'm glad I know them. And I have not written here much lately and can't even believe it was six years ago this summer that I started writing here. And I never thought I would meet such amazing people through it. Like Pan, they have helped me to think thoughts and have ideas and face things and do things that I would have otherwise been afraid to do.
Okay, sentimental meltdown over.
About this time in ...
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