Come What Come May

Lisbeth Essays, Life

She always urged me to write more about myself. To use “I” instead of “you”, to say more clearly how things really affected me, to let the reader deeper into my soul.

I said “Why? Letting people into my mind was a difficult thing. Once they open the door, they might walk all around the house. Into this room and that. See the clutter, bump into the furniture, know the holes in the floorboards and the gaps and the ugly, ugly spot on that wall, the one that will never come out, no matter how much I scrub until my knuckles bleed, and they do bleed and oh it hurts. How could I let anyone see that?

She said, “It’s not your head that you have trouble letting people into. It’s your heart.”

I conceded that maybe it was both. And four days later, she was gone. I let her leave, fly onto the next wire, a bluebird who was never meant to stay very long in my yard.

But what would I have written anyhow? Would I have told you all of my love and my loss? Of the way she opened my heart with her tenderness? Would I have told you that? Would it have been helpful to anyone?

Maybe I would have told of her anger, because you already know of my sadness and the way I forcefully will myself into the light every day. That story is not new. But her anger, oh, it was huge, like fireworks over the Potomac. Except there was no crowd to “Ooooh” or “Ahhhh” … just me, wincing. No band played. And not one person sold cold drinks to assuage the thirstiness of those choking on gunpowder and smoke. I knew the hostility wasn’t for me — she even said that. No, she was mad at everyone who had ever hurt her. These bullets just had “Lisbeth” engraved on them. Lucky me.

Still, I thought I could buckle up on the ride and not get thrown out.

“She needs more barbell,” I thought. Such a wonderful person could certainly be saved by CrossFit, right? I believed the barbell could eat her anger, like it had devoured mine. (“What the Barbell Took”)

I was wrong. And then I was alone again.

So, what am I doing here? I don’t know, other than simply writing in “I” and “my” and telling this short tale of love and loss. Maybe it is sound and fury, and maybe it signifies nothing. Maybe I am Shakespeare’s idiot.

But I know this: I can write “I” … and live. We all must work our “goats” — in the gym and in life. This one is mine. Improvement starts with acknowledgement of a weakness. We all must look life in the face, speak our flaws, and be brave enough to start working on them. Good luck, my friends. Life is never easy, but take heart in the notion that we are all on this road together.

“Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”
 (Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3)

Lisbeth Essays, Life

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