I wrote an essay about divorce that I read aloud this summer to a room of youth-faces whom I thought could not possibly understand, and when they were staring up at me and the little reading light on the reading table was blinding me I thought why I am reading this? To whom am I reading this, because when I was seventeen and free I could not have understood regret and sadness at all, could I? But then I remembered I was wrong, andI realized I was reading the essay to me, for myself, and my heart was shaking and my fingers were shaking and my voice was shaking. The thing was, I wrote the last part of the essay in a university computer lab and I was late to the reading so I printed the pages and ran like a mad wild person away from what I had written before saving it, and so all I had were the pages I had printed, and then I lost those too somehow.
The essay, if I remember correctly, was sogging with emotionality but not precisely sadness, or maybe it was with the afterglow of sadness which is something different I think, after all, but when I read it I still felt like I was going to cry but later I understood that other people wanted to cry with me. After I read the essay, so many people came up to me and told me it was beautiful and that they wanted a copy of it. But there is no copy of it, and later I understood that this was good.
This fall I gave away an entire houseful of things — a ten-years’ life of things, really — and I understood that while handing the physical boxes of books and clothes and plates and doo-dads to the people at the donation center is scary, what is not scary is afterward, when I was light and free. What is not scary is realizing I can’t remember half the things I gave away, already. Or half the things I wrote in my essay or have ever written anywhere. So it is with a shaking heart that I shake onward, without fear of what I will lose, because it seems there is much and nothing to lose, there is creation and there is release, like bubbles floating away from a wand.