Sometimes, I imagine what it must be like to be buried underground.
When I miss my cousin terribly, I think about rolling back the grave grass like a carpet. Like a blanket, or a sheet. I could unbury him, and watch the ground unfurl.
When I was little, I was captured by the story of the boy who drank the sea. Who swallowed up the tides so that all the hidden treasures on the seafloor were revealed. The sparkling bits of shell and underbellies of a capsized ship. If I could unbury the ocean, what sad stories would I find there?
Everything inside of my mind is becoming unearthed. Sometimes, the process is confusing, and I find that I am dazed for days on end. My heartmeat is wounded. That bundle of internal flesh how it processes and processes and then how it fries and fizzles out. In my meditations, a dark and ugly thought continues pushing its way through. I know its name, but I do not feel comfortable with its presence in my mind.
Drinking up the ocean of my brainthoughts, there is almost too much there to look upon. To sift through. A glass armadillo rests upon the sand. Beside it, a piece of plastic tubing. A sleeping bag. A near-to-empty bottle of Jack Daniels. A discarded gameboard, with all the pieces scattered by the tides. Charred books. Even if I had a thousand years, there isn’t enough time for all the gathering.
This morning, from the porch, I watch the burning skies and how they mirror all the torment in my mind. Smoke and mirrors. All the chaos blowing in. Somewhere someone wrangles horses for survival.
I remember when our home burned down, and how we dug through all the ash for pieces of our lives that we could cling to. Solidarity. A little fragment of the self to tether us back down to earth. I remember how beneath the ash the element is charcoal. I remember how my hands were black, and how my fingertips left imprints on the things that had not yet become dust. Criminal, this act of sifting through a past. Every object that I touch remembers me, and yet I leave such little trace.
Self-care. A glass of wine. What if one of the horses burned?
At the cemetery, I plant my fingers in the grass. The mud clings to all the space between the skin between the nails, and I think perhaps that I won’t wash my hands ever again. Maybe then I won’t forget.
A capsized ship, and how it looms inside a corner of my mind. The broken sails, the tattered wood. I stand outside, but I cannot enter in. I reach out to touch it, and then I draw my hand back to my chest where all the wounded heartmeat lies.
Don’t push yourself, she says. My therapist, how gentle she is. How cautious. How knowledgeable about the human mind how much she understands how close we are to fracture. How she can see before I can the things that surface to undo me.
What if one of the horses burned?
I leave the wreckage of the ship. Instead I stoop to gather up the small and shattered form of a glass armadillo.
Let’s talk about that, she says.
Let’s talk about that, I say.
And with one great heaping gulp of air I release the waters and the tides back out unto the ocean of my mindscape. The capsized ship, now buried deep beneath the waters, awaits exploring for another day. I leave the grass in order on the plot, and do not unearth the things that I’m not ready for exposing.
But I do not wash my hands. I let the dirt collect between the skin between the nails. So that then, this time, I won’t forget.