Remodeling the Soul

I have cried every day this week.  I’m wondering when tears will stop.  

A few months ago, when I was feeling this way, I just became disconnected.  People noticed.  Asked me why I wasn’t posting on the blog.  Why I wasn’t writing.  Why I wasn’t answering texts or calls.  

Today, I’ve decided that we should hurt together, and not alone.  That may be presumptuous, because I’m assuming you want to bear my burdens as I bear yours.  But I would hope that we would wish to carry one another.  

I’m selfish, really.  That’s the thing.  I let the burdens of the world become my own, and then I neglect the ones who love me.  I’m trying to do better.  No promises, though.  No promises except that I will try. 

Over the weekend, I went fishing.  It was my first overnight trip on a boat.  It was also the first birthday I’ve acknowledged in five years.  

My cousin took his life in October of 2012, two days after I turned 22.  I’ve punished myself ever since.  And I think that that’s a funny way to celebrate a life.  To honor it.  By condemning your own happiness to death.  

My boyfriend said that he hopes this year could be the start of me enjoying my birthday again.  Those were beautiful words.  When I turned him down, he reminded me that it’s important to let your people love you.  

But remember, I am selfish.  I want to suffer alone.  I want to bear the burdens by myself.  It’s why, every now and again, I strap 30 pounds upon my back and disappear into the wilderness.  I crave the blisters on my feet, like some nun paying penance with a whip upon the flesh.  

On the boat, I lit up a cigarette and popped open a beer, in honor of my Joey.  I do this every year.  It was overcast.  We were waiting to hit a school of something.  All of us staring at one another.  The man with the shaggy blonde hair who said maybe I had drank too much.  I told him we’re on a boat, and there’s nothing much else to do.  In turn, he told me stories of his boat that sunk, and all the fish he’s caught.  The weird dude with the mustache in the camo vest who told me next time I should let the men be men and take the lead.  This did not endear me to him, but it did give me a laugh.  The deckhand who helped me thread my hook.  The man with the sad eyes and the tattoos.  The old, worn out fishing boots.  The one who never smiled.  The young dude who kept puking off the side of the boat, on the phone with his wife, sipping on the soda from the galley.  

Chris the cook, who weaved stories like the greatest teller of all time and makes a mean burrito.  A burrito so good I’m suddenly no longer vegan, not that I was a good one to begin with.  Nick the deck hand, whose young face rested in perpetual grin.  Tom, the second, with the unlit cigarette hung perpetually from his lips.  He never smiled, and when he did, the smile was tired.  Like wax dripping from the flame.  

Good people.  

You’re living with them all, essentially.  Falling asleep to their snores at night.  Oddly intimate for strangers like ourselves.  I think, perhaps, they see me as bad luck at first.  The fish aren’t biting, and women are bad omens on a ship.  

But then the hours wane by, and we grow weary.  And in exhaustion, boundaries are  neglected.  And you become this weird family of chaos thrown together, somewhere off the coast of Mexico.  You don’t quite know exactly where you are, and then you realize that this doesn’t matter in the least.

I realized something.  For a moment, at the bow of the ship, alone.  The wind was biting although the fish were not; the day was overcast.  I was cold to my bones.  Like farmers telling weather in the patterns of their joints I knew that storms were coming.  It wasn’t the grand sunset, or the dolphins in the distance.  It wasn’t grace or glory or the beauty of the landscape because the waves were cold and silvered in their fury.  

It was the light of another ship I saw, out there in the distance.  Nothing else.  No land.  No sight of anything existing except that one bright light.  A reminder of the others.  The ones I’ve pushed aside in favor of myself and my own grief.  

Amidst strangers, I’ve realized that creating new memories does not mean replacing old ones.  That smiling on a day of sadness does not mean the heart does not still mourn.  That I’m lucky as hell to be alive, and penance is a thing for those who know not how to live.  

Existence is short, my loves.  Wander on.  Wander greatly.  Forgive yourselves.  Life is too beautiful to be spent punishing ourselves for the past.  You can build new upon the old without destroying it.  It’s called remodeling the soul. 

I may have just turned 27, but I’m still learning lessons.  I hope to for many years to come. 

32 thoughts on “Remodeling the Soul

  1. I think suffering is something that should be shared. We are a human family and we need to be there for one another. Whatever we are going through is also what someone else is going through and its fortunate to be there for people who are in need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coyote from Orion

    I lost a brother 22 years ago. Our family were made pariahs. We have survived and now more than a few others have tried rewriting history.
    No mother should bury a child. I have heard my own mother’s cries then 3 years later my best mate’s mother crying. We wish no one to understand. Yet some people have magnificent problems and they rarely do much to help the downtrodden. They do nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darren

    Such a wonderful soul, you are never alone and it will always be ok to ask for help or have a shoulder to cry on. That’s what makes us whole. Keep writing your words inspire, engage, and make people pause to think. A gift that shall not be wasted so keep giving to us your special gift of your thoughts and words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s funny how you said that. That needing someone else is what makes us whole but it’s a beautiful idea. We are all pieces of a puzzle, after all, incomplete without the other. I like this. You’ve given me a lovely image to think upon. 💕


  4. Happy Belated Birthday. ❤ Glad you reached out and grabbed hold of life, there is strength in numbers and we are all one tribe. Solitude has its moments and we all need it from time to time, but when we are hurting, that is the time for togetherness. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got to say that yes, you are correct when you say you are selfish, as a man I don’t want to hear constantly the why of my girl problems, is not in me, sorry, but I do know how to listen also and the rest. Anyways your a good looking girl that catches fish it seems, you can make me learn something about fishing wich I always wanted to do.
    This is what I call a “stick up”, you’ll be laughing with me and probably more at me through the day, so no negative….woooman!

    Nice meeting you, and as time permits I’ll drop by to do what I have coined “my cool staker moves”


      1. Seems my sense of humour is not for you, at the same time I will not say I’m sorry since it was an innocent comment.
        Sorry if you felt that way, it was definatelly not my intention. Some people get my crazy sense of humour and take it and laugh and others don’t.


        1. Perhaps, in the future, you could think more through the implications of your language. You are responsible for your words, and the weight they carry. You can’t just pass that off as someone’s misinterpretation. That being said, no harm no foul. I understand. Be well.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a beautiful post, thank you for the honesty and the courage it took to share.
    In someways I am like you, I cut all ties with the world when I am blue, I despise human contant and even things that would cheer me up because those blues are mine and as much as I want to be happy I can’t share them. But I am tying these days.

    I hope you and I we can both learn to share our burdens without feeling like a burden.

    Thank you for the post again.

    Sending you love,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. amanda_dotdotdot

    Share grief. Let your loved ones love you. Yes.
    My 13 month old daughter slept in my late father’s room last night. She woke this morning, waving. When I picked her up, she waved to his ashes. Smiling. Enthusiastic.
    Dad knew I was pregnant, but never got to meet her. I’m not one for “he watches over us”… but man, today’s been emotional.
    Now I’m crying. I’m crying with you. My grief sees yours. I see you. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing your birthday with your readers. Glad you were able to celebrate your 27th and I hope there are many more for you. I’ve seen my share of pain and suffering and God, this year has been bad. Two things that help: creating new stories and poems and experiencing the art of others, especially music. There’s nothing like discovering a new writer that makes me feel joy. Nothing like it at all. So here is wishing you well. And hoping for good times ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Me too, still learning. And I’very had fifty more birthdays than you. That doesn’t make me wise, just more open. Thanks for sharing the cigarette and beer. And that small light in the night.

    Liked by 1 person

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