I’m sorry I am writing so much I don’t know where it’s all coming from and I know it doesn’t all make sense. Most of it I don’t know if it makes sense it’s just that the words don’t stop and they build up pressure in my body all damn day long. So when I get back home and crawl into sweats with my laptop and tea (always with the fucking tea because my hands, my ridiculous hands need to hold something comforting at all times) I practically cry the words out like ten thousand tear drops which weigh a million pounds but do not know how to fall.
I heard that today is the first day of the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Tiger. When I was a kid there was a big fuss made at the Philly Zoo about their housing a white tiger for a while. If I am not mistaken we went to see it but I may have blocked the memory for reasons unknown. The big cats, tigers, lions, cheetahs, panthers, were all my favorite creatures by far like I coulda just stayed with them until I don’t know, someone finally had to drag me out. But something in their big, big thick paws pacing made me excited and uneasy. Something in the way the majestic jungle creatures rarely looked at people but had their gorgeous gigantic feline eyes fixed on the bars or the doorways or the outside. Didn’t feel right. Always felt tense like something was about to happen. But gorgeous and mesmerizing they all were none the less. I think I had a stuffed animal version of the big white tiger. I think I thought its shiny plastic whiskers grew. I think I could have sworn it.
It is also the feast of Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day, in pagan tradition. The middle mark between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Fire, rebirth, renewal. Letting go of the past and moving forward into the future which I guess as far as time is concerned is always true but our heads and hearts are a different matter entirely. Sometimes we rush to move forward ahead too fast or we stay in the same place too long. I have done both. I have over stayed my welcome and I have cut bait before I got to the good stuff that coulda been mine for keeps or so I thought. The thing is, you never really know. All you have is now and now is a cumbersome thing to wrap your arms around. Just when you think you know what’s what, it’s time to get going again. No wonder we’re all trying to numb out. Maybe we confuse the numbness with stopping time. All the rushing makes us anxious. We need more time to sort ourselves out. Time doesn’t stop for anything or anyone, of course. But if you can bludgeon yourself into sweet oblivion at least you can unclench your jaw for a while even if it means clawing your bloodshot eyes out later. How often ‘later’ never factors in.
As the low pink clouds fade to gray behind the rooftops, I run a hot bath and pull warm towels from the dryer. There is a shiver in the way my mind cannot calm itself and I think of my big beautiful caged cats, the ones I adored with my whole fascination so long ago. Animals are animals and so are we. The wild in the blood finds a way to speak to you, to tell you it longs achingly to finally beat free. We pace and we pace because even though no one tells us how or where it exists, something in us knows there’s gotta be a way out even if it’s through the words that are calling you in.