I am in Lynwood. Caitlin is driving back to Portland. After several days of work, we are done moving.
Starting over again is like tearing up a garden.
In my mind I keep seeing burning things. A burning heart. A burning tree. Fire. I have cried a lot today.
A few minutes ago while unpacking, I picked up a heart-shaped cookie cutter that Caitlin and I bought on Valentine\’s Day of last year. We used it to make small pastry-puff hand pies with cherry filling. She gave them to her coworkers, and we ate a few. At the time we had been seeing each other (again) for a little over a month. I felt ambivalent about our relationship. I wasn\’t in good shape at the time—financially, emotionally, or in any other facet of my life, really. Maybe I was in okay shape, but I was lost, very, very lost. I tried occupying myself with writing and reading, which sort of worked.
When I pulled that cookie cutter out of knife bag—which is another story—I felt my heart sear. (I say sear because when I say I felt heart-burn, it just doesn\’t sound like what I\’m going for.) In that moment the value that she brought to my life last year became bright and clear:
I saw light and felt flames. It was real.
Seeing the truth is a matter of perspective—distance, angle, focus, aperture, length of exposure, development, etc.
I don\’t know precisely why I separated from her. For a while I had a suspicion that I was only doing it for the wrong reasons. Well, if the end justify the means, I did the right thing: I learned a lot, and I changed a lot, especially over the past few days. Old memories are springing back like forgotten bulbs blooming in unexpected places. This new growth was only possible by starting over. I don\’t know if Caitlin and I will get back together. We certainly could.
\”Time to get these seeds in the cold ground, it takes a while to grow anything.\”
It\’s a poetic irony that so much has happened on today, April Fools\’ day.
To new beginnings.