Ever since coming home from Mexico a month ago, life has been carrying me along. I’ve done what needed to be done, but only that. Neither more nor less. Well, a little less, I’m afraid, but not grossly less, or at least I don’t think so. The tears quit falling for the most part, and so did the rest of my emotions. I’ve moved through the days, placing one foot in front of the other until I could lie back down and sleep again. I sort of noticed it, and I told myself I was just doing what I needed to do to take care of myself. Actually I think I gave myself permission to do this, even though it felt like I was making excuses, but I just sort of noticed it and kept on going.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago it seemed like I was having little leaks of anger. Insignificant things were making me mad, and sometimes I’d snap a little bit. That surprised me, because I’m usually pretty even-tempered.
Then, one day I had an urge to go out to the Washout. For the first time ever, I found a flock of fat white Pelicans clustered out there on a sandbar in the middle of the river. I was completely taken by them, and I began snapping pictures. I hadn’t done any photography at all since returning home. When I looked at the shots I’d taken, I decided to return the next day with a longer lens on my camera. The pelicans were still there, and I did get some better shots the second day, but the important part of this story is that I finally began taking pictures again. I am once again doing the thing I love to do. And it helps somehow to fill that empty space in my heart. I have returned again and again to the riverside, each time finding something different to photograph. I’ve begun carrying my camera around everywhere, just in case I need to catch a shot of something. And I’ve found comfort there.
Stifling or burying the hurt brings it out in subtle ways, ways that can hurt others while we ourselves remain in the oblivion of the numb place. I can’t say my sadness is gone – it’s not. But I am feeling it now, and although it hurts, and I feel like there is a lump in my throat most of the time, it’s better to feel something than to feel nothing. And so it goes.