The assignment is “go for a walk… untangle a problem.” I decided to fix the problem of my plus-size fashion blog in my mind, and head to the coffee shop 1.2 miles off to the east. I took my camera. I saw things – wonderful things. I found lavender sprouting wild from the corner of a property, overseen by apple trees. I saw the earliest signs of fall, on the trees that always turn first. I found manhole covers with giant petals painted around them. A man with a strange, broad nose and a small dog with an aura that reached out like a hound commented on the holes on the street. I ate a croissant, drank cafe au lait, wondered what it will be like to do the exact same thing in Paris. My hands leave greasy fingerprints on the copy of the Northeaster newspaper.
On the way back, I thought sad things. They were not necessarily true things. About how other people do not celebrate my life – which is not true. At a throwaway telemarketing job in college, a woman made a point of throwing me a goodbye party. This was all the more gratifying as a former classmate that bullied me in school had to sit and smile through all the proceedings, and while I never enjoy watching people seethe, I did enjoy her seeing that she was alone in thinking of me as a lesser being. At Mankato State, co-workers sprung a surprise birthday cake on me. I never got wedding showers or graduation parties; only Mike’s family sent me sympathy cards when Dad died – but I did, at different and highly unexpected points in my life, get acknowledgment. I may not feel or sense appreciation from people who “should” appreciate me (no one is obligated to.) But I am deeply appreciated, and from the most unexpected of places.
I worked my way through Audubon park, marveling that I never noticed the trail cutting back onto a residential street. I wondered at the people who lived in the apartment/house overlooking it. I thought of a friend I haven’t seen since January; I miss him, and I think he is angry with me. I shove away my feelings of failure over this.
Anger at another friend visits me. He is quite impressed with himself for losing weight – and if he is happier, I am happy for him – but who is proselytizing his experience as though it is a formula for ALL experience, despite a complete absence of medical credentials to support his unintentionally bullying contentions. His intention is to motivate. His understanding that the body and its appearance is secondary to its miraculous capacities is still lacking. I feel attacked, but I know that whatever this is about, it’s not my battle – and on the unlikely chance I am being attacked, the real cause has nothing to do with this bio-political difference. If the second option is the case, I honestly don’t care what the problem is.
I otherwise wholly appreciate his motivation, as I attempt much the same thing in a more gentle manner.
I don’t know where the sad thoughts came from. I don’t know what triggered it. I found a new handmade bag shop, full of miraculous objects cut in rhinestones and made from upcycled everything. A dog with a zipper up its back sat over a bowl. Mother of pearl watches and cameos shared space with giant fleur-de-lis necklaces. Nothing should have made me so suddenly sad.
On the way home, I reconjured my original examination of the plus size blog. I realized I had solved nothing, and concluded that things aren’t clear yet. I need to work through more trauma, more sad, to make more room on the interior work-table for such a powerful project. I need to spend more energy on clearing and cleansing, and to leave things as they are for now.
I checked my mail on the way back into my apartment. I “clearing” kit I ordered from Lucky Mojo arrived, much sooner than I expected. I consider it my answer. For now, clear, cleanse, center, and focus on my spirit. That is my answer. The solutions will come to me later.