I am not sure if this is satire or a little melancholia. I wrote this to detail my feelings as I discard certain “things” from my home in my desire to lighten the load, and not have so much “stuff.” I was thinking about art in all of its forms. Art that requires physical space and art that occupies mental space. I LOVE art I can touch, but I also love art I can read and hear. This was an effort to console me.
Give me art.
I must discard the canvas gently stroked with your brush.
The swirls and the colors shaped beautifully by your gift.
The fiber and the texture I can feel with my touch.
It is time to let it go.
Its dwelling place is gone.
Give me art.
I want to hold it close.
Write down the words that fill that space.
The beautiful prose I hear.
Formed lyrically from your talent.
I have a home to store it.
Give me art.
Never to be cast out.
My spirit will hold the verse
and it will rest upon my heart.
My grief made me vomit sobs.
The pain was not palatable.
The kind of pain that will make you hate.
That sick taste.
My grief made me vomit sobs.
Like a virus that lingers.
Cast out this substance.
Still shaky on my feet.
Time is what it takes to swallow life again.
I know people who live a life one foot in front of the other.
They don’t leave the path on which they trod.
Maybe a stumble. They must take a step back.
Then, onward they go.
I know people who walk in a circle.
They can’t find their path. Life floats them along.
I know people who trod and who float.
They capsize. They plunge.
They ascend. They rise.
I know this person.
Drawer after drawer. Shelf beyond shelf.
Stacks of my beautiful stuff.
Some of you pristine. Never to be touched by my hand since the day you were tendered.
Some of you used. Worn with the caress of my consumption.
Long forgotten or at the front of my thoughts.
You have a place in my heart.
Or do you?
Must I keep you?
Must I hold on?
Just because you are mine? I possess you.
You are my stuff! My beautiful stuff.
I forgot about some of you until I had room no more.
Then, with all of my might, I knew it was time.
It was time. Time let you go.
My stuff! My beautiful stuff.
Then, my heart and my mind doth continue to battle the war I have set before me.
Save draft. I am feeling a bit anxious this morning. A bit in my head. Thoughts racing. What to do. What to do? I want to sit here and watch the birds outside my window. Watch them eat. Food provided by my benevolent husband. It is a paradox. We feed them so we can watch them. They fascinate us. It is for us. It is for our entertainment. Is it really an act of giving? We think we must be the source of their food for the winter. I want to watch them and escape. I am writing today in my Gmail because Gmail will save my draft. I woke up with anxiety this morning as I do most mornings. I began to panic that I didn’t have the necessary backup for my computer. I have so many things to do in 2017. I need to ensure that my writings are saved. I am just not up to it today. So writing in my Gmail is my solution today. It will automatically save this. One thing I am good at is finding solutions. I panic a little; then I move on. There is no time for frying in panic. Frying in panic. Frying seems to be the opposite of marinating. Marinating is stewing in something. Letting it sit. Panic doesn’t do that. Panic takes a hold of you and it makes you done. Fried. I have a lot to do in 2017 and one thing I will do is to continue looking for solutions.
Thank you to Bobby Shuttleworth of WAFF for being so kind and gracious during our interview. I also want to thank her talented videographer for his work. I will admit I was quite apprehensive to do a video interview. Writing about my alcoholism is much easier than talking about it. I am sharing this because I hope I continue to stay accountable; I also hope this segment can help anyone struggling. As I said, the misery only gets worse if you don’t get help. I am grateful today for 348 days of sobriety. It just keeps getting better.
Love Your Spouse Facebook Challenge. “Challenge. “ That’s the word I see. Maybe it’s just me, but it is challenging to love my spouse at times. I think he feels the same way because he has told me over the years when we were arguing, “Right now, I am JUST committed to you.”
Commitment. The feelings come and go, but commitment is the cement. I suppose a good friendship and respect are important too. There were times we just decided to stay together because we were better together than apart. Is that love? Were we chicken shits? Perhaps. This week I’ve looked at many photos of my husband and me through the years, from the time we started dating, during our marriage, our separation and today. I can see the difference in our smiles and how our eyes have gone from sparkling to nebulous. I can see the stress and confusion. I can almost feel it. As I held each photo, I searched my memory of what was going on in our lives at the time reflected in the photo. How did we lose that brilliance in our eyes?
Life. Life took our radiance and replaced it with a dark and dull quality. If I had the pictures to show, I would show the pictures of the fights, the hurt, the separation. The chaos of our union. When we are arguing we don’t stop and say, “Let’s take a picture of this moment. This real moment of our life.” We live it. Maybe that’s the answer if there are any answers to staying together. Begin with hopes and dreams. Go through the bad stuff. Keep going. Take some pictures along the way. “Just be committed” even when you don’t like or love your spouse. The “challenge” for each couple is not permanently to lose their way during the journey. I took the challenge.
Yesterday I got caught up in the madness. I spotted four photographers waiting outside the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. So, I had to participate in the crazy. The crazy of waiting for a celebrity to emerge. As I was waiting I met Zee. She is a realtor who works around the corner from the hotel. She stopped and talked to my fellow celebrity stalkers and, yes, she stayed a few minutes. But, being the New Yorker that she is she went back to work. She has seen this crazy before. Celebrity sightings and those who wait for them. I gave her my card; told her to text me her number and if a celebrity worth mentioning appeared, I would text her a picture. She soon returned to her office and texted me. The text read like this. “Are you “the” Cookie Stoner? I read an article about you last year regarding performing legal marriages regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Bravo!! Proud to be able to say I met you!” In a bit, Zee returned to the mass of photographers and stalkers. The crowd had grown. I was still there. I was committed. Zee explained that when I gave her my card she remembered that name, Cookie Stoner. She had heard it before. She then checked her email and, yes, she had sent the article Catherine Godbey had written in the Decatur Daily in November 2015 about me as a wedding officiant to a New York friend of hers. Zee and her friends here in New York were thrilled to see such progress in Alabama. Wow. Just wow. I am so grateful for the life I get to live. I am grateful for my place in this Universe. There is power in the Universe. Sometimes being a part of the madness shows us our place in this wonderful world.
I wish you laughter. The kind that makes your sides hurt.
I wish you love. The kind that takes your breath away.
I wish you peace. The kind that makes your mind flow.
I wish you joy. The kind that makes your heart swell.
I have this wish. I wish for you. I wish for me.