Wednesday, June 27, 2012

cruising altitude


Something within has felt suspended far above the ground for weeks now…perhaps, months. Like a child, pressed into a crowded table with feet swinging freely over the floor, ribcage wedged against the table, a bounty spread just beyond the reach of fingers, waiting for someone to cut the meat and bring it within fork's distance.

It's a coil that has been tightening; something that, without a name, darts between the trees at the corner of vision.

Now, somewhere over Europe, there is time to think about this feeling; to rub fingers over the shape of it. To scrub through the tapes and see if I can recognize the face.

I'm not sure if I could recognize my own, at this point. Since February, the sunshine of this endless summer has dashed a frenzied constellation of freckles over my cheeks and nose. My arms have narrowed from so many hours of yoga; my waist has lengthened; my hair has bleached into a brassy strawberry, golden at the roots, from its customary auburn. I won't see many people on this two-week excursion into purgatory; many, I imagine, would be startled at the change. I intend to go quickly back to the people that know me this way.

The last few weeks have seen me hurtling after the greased watermelon of my identity through the tiny village of Oludeniz. I'm still exhausted from the exertion of the pursuit. I'm tangled in memories of late-afternoon sunlight pushing, ribbonlike, into turquoise water; of shouldering back against the yellow nose of my wing, bucking and tossing in front of me; of watching brown bodies bounce insouciantly across a slackline, tattoos twisting in the soft, late light. I've been brasher and saucier than my station, hoping nobody knows just how scared I've been. I've been alone, and I've been as not-alone as ever. I've given part of my heart to this place, and that part is aching now.

This trip is necessary, and it's part of the flow that's carrying me forward. My only hope is that I can skim easily over its course and come back quickly; throw my bag down, toss aside my clothing and dive back down to the salty surface of the moon.

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