I have all of these new stories that want to come through. They are pounding at the door, demanding to come in.
But my house is full of old stories, old stories that I am rounding up and wrapping up and getting ready to give away. I just need to finish them.
So as I'm getting ready to let in these new stories, I am making time to finish and let go of the old ones. I’m done with them. They brought me far over the last four years but that isn’t a reason for me to build an alter and kneel in front of them for the rest of my life. I can thank them. I can grieve the end of our relationship.
I know how to grieve. And I can let go. I can let go of the things I’m done with, because they’re done with me, and I can welcome in the empty space without filling it immediately.
Empty space. It’s a gift.
Like the time I looked out the window of the bedroom where I used to sleep with someone I loved deeply. I looked out that window and I saw junk. Weeds. Broken bottles. Newspapers. And I said, ‘Let’s clear out that space today.’ And he said ‘Okay.’ So we filled trash bags and hauled away the junk. Then I said, ‘Let’s rip up these weeds.’ And he said ‘Okay.’ And we got our hands dirty. He made coffee while I kept pulling. I made lunch while he kept pulling. And then we went to the garden store and bought seeds. Seeds for beans and peppers and squash and zucchini and marigolds. Lots and lots of marigolds. We planted seeds in the afternoon and watered them in the golden hour sunlight. And I was happy.
And the garden grew although the relationship ended. And I’m glad. I’m glad for all of it.
Because I know how to clear the soil of old roots that aren’t growing what I want in my garden anymore. Because I know how good the earth smells when I get my hands in it. Because I know that the past has enriched me to grow something beautiful, something new and wonderful. Because I know change is possible. And I know grief is part of growing. And letting go is part of letting in.
And so I get to finish these old stories, which I will always cherish, and clear space for something else. Something that is true now. Something big that my heart just found, just recently, and showed to me, something precious and full of potential, like a tiny nest of hummingbird eggs. My heart showed me its capacity for new stories, and I get to care for them and keep them safe and clear space for what will grow. Because that’s what I know how to do.
And there are seasons for growing and seasons for weeding and seasons for planting, and there are some special days in the almanac of my heart where we get to do all of these things at once.
I’m at the place now where all I have to do is meditate on the feeling of my eyes,
My wrung dry eyes,
Stinging, starving… no, thirsting,
Small and dense and red in their sockets,
Zinging me from the retina back into the optic nerve,
Crunchy dry, dry like a sponge scraping along the edge of a knife,
All I have to do is meditate on the feeling of my eyes,
Not even the story of how they got like this,
Not even the old story of how many years I’ve cried because of you,
Not even the old sad story of how much it hurt, hurts still,
I don’t even have to replay a single word of any of that,
Because all I have to do is just tune in to that feeling in my eyes,
Which just won’t stop leaking today
Because I can’t stop feeling that red raw feeling in my eyes today,
And I’m sorry, by the way, I’m sorry about all that,
But I don’t want to talk to you about it,
Because I don’t want to talk about it,
Because I don’t want to talk to you,
Because I don’t want to listen to you,
Because you never listen to me anyway,
But I’m still sorry about all of that,
And I’m still crying,
But not about that,
Not about anything,
I’m crying the cry of after having gone over all of it in my mind,
And still not being able to find my way out of this maze,
I’m crying the cry you cry AFTER you’re cried out,
That cry of, my God it just hurts here,
It just hurts still,
And I do want to feel my eyes, because they’re my eyes, guys,
But I don’t want to feel them at all at the same time,
And I push them away like I pushed you away,
Over and over and over again,
But what happens when I push my eyes away is they’re just still here,
And they just still hurt,
And I’m still in this maze, with this sponge and this knife,
And I’ll just sit here and meditate on my eyes,
And let this cry wet them again, from the inside out,
And maybe this cry will be the one that will finally let me see.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.