Sunday, August 05, 2012
Outside my window, three floors down, the rattle of hundreds of aluminum cans and clink of glass bottles begins, and will probably go on most of the day if past experience dictates today as well. It’s that time of the month when the little Asian lady sorts, and spills, and sorts her spoils from her work a couple buildings over.
Ruby is looking at my fingers, head cocking from one side to the other as she lays with me on the loveseat and tries to figure out if this is a game or not. It’s almost overwhelmingly adorable. She decides either that it isn’t, or that she’s just too comfortable to move the few inches to my fingers to bite them with her barracuda puppy teeth, and resigns simply to rest her paw at the joint of my right wrist and hand.
I’m falling more and more in love with her every day, and she, I believe, with me. It took us both a bit to get here, to this point, and admittedly at first I was concerned. When we first met and for a few weeks that followed, I did love her – but it was a guarded love, incomplete, with walls built by the past preventing me from giving all of my heart to her. Perhaps she felt the same, but with much less of a past.
Is complete love something learned?
I wonder what it’s like for domestic animals, the majority of them taken away from their mothers, as I was taken from mine. Do they feel the same loss? Distrust? Emptiness? I anthropomorphize, but in a way it brings me closer to them, regardless of what they might think or feel. I invent what I need to.
I invent because I need to. Adoptees are self-invented as a necessity. There is an absence, a void at the very beginning of our lives. The first few pages of our existence is violently gone; instead of being aborted ourselves, our entire family was. The entire world is ripped away, everything we know, trust, find safety in – her heartbeat, smell, voice… The feeling that something is missing never, ever leaves, and it can’t, and it shouldn’t – because something *is* missing.
It depends on the child how we use this; having no one to dictate who we are or who we become, we can use it to destroy our lives (and in many cases, the lives of others) – or create them. We make it up as we go along. I decide who I need to be, with no lines to tell me where the color should or shouldn’t be. I trace the space of what might have been in an imagined Braille like welts raised on the flesh. I rewrite the emptiness. I add color or take it away. I become who I need to be for a time then become someone else. Cats and their nine lives ain’t got nothin’ on me – I’ve lived that many and more, taking the pieces and people I like from each one and storing them in my heart as I continue, hopefully forward. One piece is simply a coffee mug that I keep from a girlfriend I had ten years ago. On it is a blue wolf with a golden crescent moon, but inside it is full of beautiful and tragic memories.
I keep the bones of past lives in small boxes, the ashes of who I was, Once Upon A Time…
There is no end to the change, and I would not have it any other way. Sometimes I leave who I was behind willingly so that I can become who I need to be. Other times it is not so much my choice – at all. I am, however, one resilient bastard if ever there was one – and this is one of the things I truly love about myself. It’s all just a game, and I don’t play to win – I play to keep playing. To keep changing, to continue, to always become yet prevent arriving as long as I can. Take off on new roads, jump off of higher cliffs… re-create and find new passions.
There are times I forget that this is what I need, and when that happens I can rely on my heart to speak up – I become inharmonious, antagonistic, uneasy, what I think I should be happy with conflicting with what I require. When I finally remember to hear what my heart is trying to beat into me, inevitably it is due to a passionless existence. I need to create. I need to perform. I need to delight, bring wonder, bring smiles to others’ faces and hearts in order to fill my own.
It is not enough for me to stand by and read the lines already written.
I am the author of my life, I create and re-create as needed, and now,
this is where the story begins.