Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Orange Wingback Armchair

I'm afraid of moving forward and terrified I'm sliding backward, and so I grow roots right where I am, inconveniently in the middle of the street, and tremble in fear and indecision as time roars by around me. The wind of passing opportunity yanks out my leaves, creating bald spots in the canopy. Loud and troublesome crows are nesting in my hair. 

I'm so so scared that ten years will pass with a quick inhale and ten more before the same breath leaves my lungs. And I'll still be right there, a bit of grass at my feet and empty branches above. 

Where will I be? What will I be doing? Will I be all alone?

I don't know anything about trees. I assume it's easiest to move them at two points in their lifespan: when they are saplings and when they are dead. Transplanting at the ages in between would require an enormous amount of effort and machinery and patience, I'd imagine. Does one dig up the entire area around the base of the tree and get it all in a ball? If you cut away at the roots, will that make it more difficult for it to thrive in a new environment?

Something must be done. I cannot possibly remain here in the road. For one thing, I'm creating potholes. But have I waited too long? Are the roots too deep?

Enough about trees. Enough with metaphors. I'm stuck in a hole and my twenties are marching on. I'm ninety-three and it's only half past eleven in the morning. 

I'm doing nothing, dreaming about everything, and the time is passing all the while. 

I'm not even writing. I'm afraid to write because it's a mirror more effective than glass, than a powerful camera lens with 300x optical zoom. In words I can see past my skin and eyes and hair, past my bones and muscles, straight into the center of my heart. 

There's a fifth chamber in there, a secret chamber that the blood flows around, but never in. The chamber is comfortably appointed, with a rug and a slightly worn orange wingback arm chair and an oak side table with a large book on it. The book contains all the reasons for who and why and what and where I am. 

But it's like the journal Harry Potter finds in the second book, blank until written in. It absorbs the ink, dissolves the words I wrote, and writes out the answers. I'm afraid to see into the chamber, put words into the book, and see what it has to say.

"You're afraid of failing so you don't even try. And by not trying, that's the greatest failure of all." 

And there it is. 

I've failed without even trying. 

And so I stay exactly where I am, doing the same exact thing, and roots shoot deep into the earth, curling like fists around the bedrock. 

I'm ready to uproot, I don't want to be here forever.  So it's time to try. Try what? Literally anything. For thirty days. Maybe one thing, maybe thirty things. Exercise? Pottery? Vegan mayonnaise? The universe is my oyster. 
(Except oysters. Because food poisoning.)

I've already failed without trying, so let's see if I can try without failing.
*softshoes off stage*

Day 1: Try writing again

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