I am currently sitting here, watching my new printer spit out some words I’ve been writing over the past year or so.
It is certainly the shittiest of first drafts of something I might some day consider to be a book.
It is just so, so hard to do.
I can’t really say if I will ever get to the point where you fine people will be able to read it, but that is my plan, overall. Really, I just want to finish something. I owe that to myself and my story.
It is hard to dive back into that, especially as each day moves you further out. It is odd, at times, to see myself in such a painful reality that many of you are in — hell — that I’m still in sometimes.
For me, it revolves around a small moment from a few months ago, when I was playing cards with my nephew. At face value, it was a good ole’ fashioned temper tantrum. Kids have them all the time. I understand.
He had gotten frustrated and threw the cards on the ground — they went everywhere.
I knew this frustrated him even more, because now he had to pick them up. But he just couldn’t. He moaned and squirmed on the ground, while I noticed the amount of time it was taking for him to work through this frustration, he could have had the cards picked up in no time.
But kids get frustrated, man.
After being told repeatedly to pick them up, he would start, and throw them down again. Squirm some more, maybe a few little tears. I felt bad. Not because he was being stubborn, but because I remember when those things got to be overwhelming as a kid. When you’re tired and frustrated, and can’t put a voice to it. So what do you do? You whine and moan. You say and do things out of anger.
So I began to help him.
“Come on bud, we’ll do this one at a time, okay?”
It took a little convincing, but I think when he saw me helping him, he started to pull out of that messy space.
I mean, what do you do when all your cards hit the floor, dispersing into what looks like a thousand little pieces?
You squirm and complain and to be honest, gotta cry for a while.
The chaos of what you created, and perhaps what was presented to you consumes your ability to take first steps.
But what I learned from this, and what I still learn every day, is that you have to start picking things up.
One at a time.
Your mess will still be there looking raw and disorganized and public.
Then, some people will come in and help you pick up a card or two. I have looked up on several occasions, choking on my own words, thanking people for getting on my level — for sitting in my hectic little moment for just a bit to help me through. I still have those moments.
I will always have those moments.
The idea about whatever it is I have coming out of that printer, is a mixture of what I experienced on that floor.
Having one’s shit together. Then losing one’s shit, and then picking it all up. With loads of help and grace and cheeseburgers.
T, who I still consider to be my mother in law, once told me, “to love is to suffer”.
And I remember it daily. When our friends lose their friends. When we get on the level of those who need a little more help.
That is powerful, yo.
You are powerful in ways you’ll never know. And in some ways, this thing that I’m writing, is a gift. To myself, and to whoever it is someday that will be able to know it had flesh on it. That this blog, in so many ways, was my way to squirm and moan and groan…and how I discovered in myself, through you, that life is all about the tiny pieces and how we get our knees dirty helping to pick them all up,
one at a time.
and for that, I say: