It is always when you’re about to leave a place that it starts to seem the most lovely, and everything you’ve taken for granted suddenly squeezes your heart so you know what you’re about to lose.
I’ve never felt like Iowa is quite where I belong, although I can’t say that is objectively true so much as that I have a tendency to cast myself as an outsider in my own life. I’ve been trying to own up to that habit. At some point, we all have to take responsibility for ourselves. Whatever has happened to us and whatever we think or feel, we have the choice of how to respond to it.
Everyone who gets to adulthood is a bit frayed in spots, I think, a little cracked around the edges, or deeper still. Perhaps from real tragedy or simply careless words spoken to us as children that burnt our fragile skin, and the scars became the narrative we walked our whole life through.
I am sitting in a coffee shop with an iced mocha and a pile of books, because this is how I know to not be lonely, filling myself with chocolate coffee and words, forgetting the people I love are a thousand and more miles away. Not forgetting maybe so much as accepting, as hoping that we are all where we are meant to be.
Words are the stuff that dreams are made of for me, the beauty of a world that exists only in mind. Language is odd if you think too hard about it. What are words to the natural world? What are hope and beauty to rays and particles of light, gusts of wind, green things growing? We are trying to name the things we see and the things we don’t see but know are there somewhere. Sunlight means more to us than brightness from a burning sphere of hydrogen; sunlight means warmth and unfurling petals, looking ever up.
I think of the things that move me in two categories: nature and humanity, but we also are creation. The synapses that light up the human mind into both poetry and calculus are as breathtaking as the most brazen colors of sunset.