Just before the turn on the year Angie asked for one word. One word from each, to make a community poem, to kick off the year of still life 365, the art blog by and for the community. I didn't have my word until it was too late, until the submission deadline was past. I had two, actually, but they were connected and I even knew which I would pick if I had to pick just the one. But deadline was past, and so the choosing was academic. Except that my next thought was that surely both of my words must've made it in by someone else's hand, being so obvious and all.
The poem came out beautiful and stunning, and heartbreaking. Just like you would hope it would. However, and this was a bit of a shock to me, my first choice word? It wasn't there.
The word was still. I meant it in terms of time, as in ongoing, continuous, in progress. Although, of course, the other meaning, the one the describes state of being, defined as "calm, motionless, quiet," didn't escape me either. I kinda liked the double meaning.
I miss him, still. I am not the same, still. It hurts, still. I am sad, still, at times. Of some things, I am less forgiving, still. Of others things-- more, now. I love him, always.
The week building up to A's third anniversary days was busy. And mostly normal. That was ok, comforting even. I thought, at times, that the busy was preventing me from getting ready in some sense I didn't fully understand myself and couldn't really articulate. At other times, though, I've thought that the busy was protecting me from really looking at what it was we were moving towards.
Three years gone. In its approach, it felt to me like an anniversary significant in a whole new way. It's not the first, the towering marker at end of that first overwhelming year, last of the firsts when you don't begin to know what to expect. It's not the second, the first after the first, when maybe you are starting to recognize the outlines of the thing. The third felt, if this makes sense, like the first of many. Like maybe I should have this figured out by now. And for most of the weekend it seemed like maybe I did. Until last night.
What took hold of me as I climed into bed last night wasn't gentle. It wasn't the missing, to which I cop freely any day of the week. It wasn't the sadness-- I know sadness and this wasn't it. No, the thing that made me cry the full-bodied cry like I haven't in long-long time, the thing that made me howl, the realization that felt physically like what I imagine getting kicked in the chest by a horse might feel, was unexpected and it was brutal. I realized, suddenly and inescapably, that I don't just love A, and I don't just miss him.
I realized that I want him, still.
It's not that I thought of him as unwanted until then. He was certainly wanted. It's just that in a universe governed by laws of physics continuing to want him now doesn't do one a whole lot of good. And it's not that I was suppressing this wanting, at least not in any way that I was aware of. I just didn't know that the wanting was in the picture, you know, still.
The realization did nothing to my perception of reality, by the way. That internalized understanding of the futility of my wanting is exactly what made me wail with impotent sorrow. Time is still unidirectional. And A is still gone, and always will be.
I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and it still took me the whole damn day to write this post. Processing, integrating, thinking, feeling. I woke up this morning feeling tender, like I went a couple of rounds with something much bigger than me. I guess I did.
How long has it been for you? What, if anything, has been surprising so far? If you've been at this for a while, how have the anniversaries treated you?