"Write for your own time, if not for your own generation exclusively. You can't write for 'posterity"--it doesn't exist. You can't write for a departed world. You may be addressing, unconsciously, an audience that doesn't exist; you may be trying to please someone who won't be pleased, and who isn't worth pleasing."
Joyce Carol Oates

Write your heart out. Wring it out and leave it to dry, hanging over the railing like underclothes, delicate and washed by hand.

My heart doesn't wring out so well, I find that more often recently. Conversations are hard and feel forced, opening up another's heart is just as difficult--it's hard to be transparent with someone who's not. A lesson I should know.

The truth is that there is so much to say, to write about, but I don't even know where to start. The things that used to pulse through me at the speed of children on bicycles, slowly, methodically, suddenly, haphazardly, now pulse through me barely.

My blood pressure is low, my heart-rate is low, they always have been. Finding a radial pulse is met with frustration--I should be dead, more than one nurse has told me. But it's there, if you press hard enough and in the right places, it's there. If you feel and wait, you'll find that evidence that I am alive and that lifeblood curses through me.

I am alive.

With a weak pulse.

That is how I feel. Honestly. I spent a few hours on the road today, running errands, picking up, dropping off, getting pulled out of a snowy field by a good Samaritan in a blue fuel truck, I had plenty of time to think, reflect, to write in my head what I would write tonight--but I didn't. I just set my thoughts over that weak pulse and reminded myself that it is there, whether I feel it or not. The first attempt or the third. I am alive inside.

So writing my heart out will seem cold in the next few days, lifeless, but we warm our toes by the fire before feeling comes back, so suddenly hot that we jump back, afraid that we've burned ourselves.

But really, it's just that startling realization that there is feeling. That our toes weren't dead, only very, very cold.

February 2008