Tu regardes le ciel, et respires la nuit! {You look up at the sky, and breathe in the night!}

Last Wednesday night I was having a hard time dealing with the typical shit that goes on here, and just before midnight I updated my Facebook status and left the house.  I hadn’t realized how far gone I was until I was outside walking in the still night, and could feel such a contrast to my mind and my emotions — a chaotic swirl.  Trying to decide on a destination, I suddenly remembered a little spot I hadn’t visited in far too long… a small bench under a tree, away from almost everything, and looking out over a bit of water.  It’s incredibly peaceful, and nearly always deserted, so I aimed my feet in that general direction.

There was something else at play though, I realized as I began to take a very different and very indirect path to where I wanted to end up.  Some of that was extra walking while working to slow myself down, my pace and my mind and my heart.  Some of it was mixing routine and familiar (my destination) with new exploration in unfamiliar territory.  Some of it was beyond my understanding or awareness, and I was okay with that.

I could smell something burning in the air, the closest thing my nose could tell me was “it smells like when computer components get overheated and fried,” but it wasn’t exactly that scent; it was a faint smell but distinct to my mind.  When I got to my little bench I let go my purse, keenly aware of how significant a weight it was, and bit back the scolding I almost gave myself for packing so many things inside.  I was sensitive to small things, delighting in the chill of the breeze from off the water as I removed my sweater, uncomfortable with the tightness of the sports bra I was wearing — uncomfortable almost as if it were keeping my lungs from filling — mindful of the weight of my fake tits inside the bra, and how they stuck slightly sweaty to my chest… very much tuned in to my body and everything near me.  I tucked myself back into the sweatshirt for a moment and kept myself covered while I removed the bra and the “falsies” from under my shirt, knowing there was no one near but being modest because it felt right to do so.

When I was free of those, I tucked away my belongings into my pockets and my purse and let myself breathe deeply, filling my lungs and holding… holding… holding… before breathing out as much as I could and repeating again.  I looked up at the stars and laughed, I listened to the wind blowing, I probably sang aloud though I don’t now recall what words or tune.  Then I got a text message.

Very odd, actually, because this message appeared to be an accidental re-send of one from early this month from a gentleman I’d only briefly met and had promised to contact again but had forgotten to do so.  I needed to be reminded of him, and when I had finally been able to let go of so much of the shit in my psyche, there he was.  Sure, I could probably find a sound scientific argument for it… I could find something about the cellular carriers and their equipment, or point to flaky technology and unreliable electronics.  I don’t need to right now, because what I needed was right there; sometimes you make a call to the universe and leave a message with your needs at the tone… and the universe sends you back a txt!

On my walk back home I made myself move pretty — swishing my hips, stepping deliberately but daintily and enjoying the recognition that I was much more whole, much more at peace than I had been in quite some time.  I took a different route back home than I had on my way out, and different still to the direct route I normally would have traveled.  Doing so allowed me to discover that there are lots of daffodils and lilies near my home, and some beautiful landscaping and gardens that I’ll have to see while the sun is out.  As I walked, I sang:

Petit bateau sur l’eau,
(Little boat on the water,)
Vogue…
(Carry on…)
Vogue…
(Carry on…)
Petit bateau sur l’eau,
(Little boat on the water,)
Vogue mon âme vers le Très-Haut!
(Carry my soul unto the Most-High!)

I stopped mid-step as I noticed that the wind had changed, fresh and clean from off the water; the burning smell was gone.  Several times as I walked, I heard moving, flowing water — a few from fountains in people’s yards, once from the pipes beneath the street, but the sound of water moving, and the change in the air all called out to me to do the same: move, flow, change.  Let the old flow away, the pain move through me, change and progress and look forward.

When I got back home, I knew I was walking into the same shit as always, but I also knew that I could handle it.  I also recognized at some point that although I had been very much awake, that walk was a dream unto itself… and I’m grateful to have had it!

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