I have been running away from the blank blog page for the last 30 days. It felt like all of September was one big bad dream, and I could only hang on to the frame of my life and keep breathing. I could not write. I could only stand still in the storm, praying for strength as one awful day out-did the last one. Putting on lipstick and doing my hair and smiling at work. Dead inside.
Tragedy struck all corners of the Earth this month. Hurricanes stole the sunshine everywhere from Houston, Florida, Cabo, the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico. Hundreds of thousands of people with nothing but wet remainders of their lives - the roaring ocean misplaced into their bedrooms.
And then, even perhaps more violent and devastating, the roaring anger of the Earth; shaking, violent, crumbling walls and shattering bodies. Three large earthquakes rumbling through my Mexico, roaring serpents under sidewalks, swallowing life in their wake. In a tragic calendar joke, the very same day that my City fell to the ground 32 years ago, on September 19th, Mexico shook again. And fell again.
Somewhere in between the ocean of the days, my world shattered, too. My eyes fixed on texts on a small screen, the phone of the man I love frozen in my hand. Texts that spoke of the worse betrayal a woman can have. Texts that spoke of a secret rendez-vous planned when I was away, with people whose bodies don't look like mine. My knees fell to the ground, the truth too big to fit my skin. The shock too big to make sense.
I laid in the devastation. I wept in the immensity. I did not know what I cried for. The drowned lands, the broken homes, the weeping mothers - or the brutal end to six years of what I called "Love". All of it. Everything. My heart had to open to fit in all the pain and not run away from it. For once.
The last tragedy I went through was cushioned by wine - the terror muffled by red liquid pillows. This time, pain is sharp. This Pain is purple and cutting, sitting heavy on my throat, slitting my veins open from the inside. This Pain is silent, too big to let tears out. This Pain lifts my feet off the ground, a protective bubble carrying me through life -- the life that looks the same to others around me. This Pain is necessary to grow, yes. But shit, it hurts like a motherfucker. And then, an ocean pours out of my eyes. And it does not stop. It will not stop.
But I survived, regardless. Curled up, shaking, standing up, waging a sword. All of it. I survived.
WE survived. It felt like the Human spirit was ONE in this story. My country lost so much, but people held hands - passing one stone after another to find survivors. My other country lifted its head up - Mothers carrying children lovingly, the Texas spirit bigger than the swirls of water around them. Men had hope in their eyes as they surveyed the devastation in their islands, looking for ways to rebuild. We survived.
People's spirits ache, but they do not break. Our knees hit the ground and splinter, but we still walk. Our heart bleeds but does not stop.
Today, on the first day of October, I take a deep breath of crisp, fall air. I feel gratitude.
I am still crying, but I have come to accept that as needed. My eyes are adjusting to the edges of the clouds. My soul is cleaning out six years of stories. My spirit is re-arranging my shape to fit a new world. I am alive. I can join the living again, I think. And I am sober. And that is the biggest Grace of it all.
I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful.
Thank you September. I force the words out of my throat, but I know that there is more truth to them than the one I can see now. I am sure that you are a beautiful teacher wrapped in dark clothing. I am sure that there is nothing to say to you but thank you. Thank you September. I am a bit glad you ended.
Welcome, October. Let's go do things now.