Every internal process is halted, and all I can do is stare at the great big living trees as their point of focus moves around on me, hollow and more alive than I will ever realize. The hypersensitive receptors in my brain loose buckets of chemicals into a fragile bloodstream. And for what? For nothing. For living. For a feeling.
Those deep green trees burn in hazy relief against a crisp sky, another summer in the Northeast. I know I’ll remember them like I’ve stashed away certain other times; an atmosphere ripe like roadside peaches, ready to pull you under and let you slip away. Years from now I’ll summon the image of a tree, and the whole thing will flood back.
On your 30’s:
This age is liminal. Your spirit still burns wild, if a bit dimmer, but the body can’t keep up. There’s a choice to be made, and you stand on Persephone’s threshold with six pomegranate seeds in your left palm. In some ways, her path was easier—she was duped. It’s the choosing that’s so tough, weighing and judging options and outcomes, considering right and wrong and who you’ll hurt. That you will be the only one certain to receive this gift of pain is almost a consolation. To suffer is to feel, and once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. You learn to despise the even keel of psychologically sunny days and start to wish for that undertow to pool around your ankles, even while shushing your brain out of spite or superstition. It’s not self-destruction exactly, more like an aversion to letting the gears grind to a stop. That dead stillness, the blank eyes of a childhood doll, is terrifying.
On what to do about it:
Let me know when you figure it out.