It's been almost two months since I've written. For a consistent blogger, that's a long vacation. This break was intentional. I wanted to slow down and just check in.
I was diving.
Tonight I was reading a piece from a member of my writing group where he describes what it feels like to sit at the bottom of the sea. I think that's what I've been doing since the start of July, sitting at the bottom of the sea, dredging up my past, feeling it pass through my fingers. Neutral buoyancy. I remember when my friend Marianne was diving in Turkey. Her favorite thing to do was pick the frail sand dollars from the bottom of the sea, to hold them in the palm of her hand as she learned neutral buoyancy. She knew she'd gotten the trick when she stopped crushing the sand dollars. But,try as she might, she would always crush them in her ascent to the surface.
I confronted my past in the Carrie-Ann way--head one. Family, lot's of them: my brother and his family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and childhood friends. Great-aunt Virginia who has 51 great-grandchildren and remembers all their names, and whose mannerism reminded me of my grandmother. My two best college friends. Three of my dearest Peace Corps friends. And because we couldn't get together, a long three-way call with two of my long-lasting friends from Turkey. Add to that, heart-to-hearts with my friends here, and check-ins with Sheila when she was state-side. Phew! A lot of silt swimming at the bottom of my sea. No wonder I could only maintain.
I am a different person than the woman who met all of those people I swam with this summer, but I'm also very much the same. I am the sum of all these experiences, and cannot be crushed like a sand dollar in my ascent to the surface. It is time to surface, but I'm ready.