February 27, 2024

Once Upon a Time, There Was a Woman who Fell in Love with her Life Again.


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Once upon a time, there was a woman who fell in love with her life again.

She fell in love with her body, her heart, her soul…and she fell in love with words.

All over again, she fell. Head over heels, she did.

She deleted five thousand filtered photos from her phone. She erased all of her spirited, righteous notes. She got rid of her useless Apps. She sent her bullsh*t emails straight to the trash, and she emptied that trash like a boss. She cleared her junk. She organized herself, drawer by drawer. Cabinet by cabinet.

She tossed out the old, she threw away the heavy, and she found herself naked in front of a mirror at 55.

Peering at her lumps, her tire-tube belly, her dimples, her puckers, her bumps, she cocked her head to the side and smiled. She pushed her hand through her hair and she admired the limpness. The “un-willing to ever cooperate” entity perched atop her head—it was dry, her hair, curled yesterday, unwashed today. Yet still, she admired. The color was pretty, and it was longer.

She threw on some clothes, because Lord knows ain’t nobody got time for standing naked in front of a mirror, and so she threw on her jeans, her sweater, and got down to the business of not wasting any more time.

She stretched, she breathed, she worked up a sweat, and she felt alive. This woman, this woman who was falling in love with her life all over again, felt alive. Alive enough to want something different, again. To want the intangibles, the things she could not locate inside pretty pictures. She wanted the magic stuff of the hard-to-explain variety. The unseen, but surely felt.

And so it was she found some words hovering inside her mouth, lingering just on the tip of her tongue, waiting, patiently, for her forming breath, for her lips to move, for her teeth to split.

Time and counted blessings finally made a baby. She found a way through the murky middle, no longer stagnant upon the bridge, no longer waiting for something to happen, she was ready and taking action, letting go and pushing forward. Drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, step by bloody step.

Walking helps a writer find her words. Winter does the impossible. Cold, “on the cusp of something else” air makes things feel sharp and clean again. Going inward somehow creates an outbound train of inspiration.

She rolled up her sleeves and she got down to business, the business of being alive, gratefully. She nodded to herself as a child, the child who bore the brunt, the innocent child who took the first punch, she smiled at herself, at the pretty teenager, the Lolita with the pout and the feathers and the bursting fruit, and she caressed that young mother, that tired, tired woman, she looked that hardworking lady right in her eyes and told her to just hang on. She winked at the woman she was just 10 years ago…the truth-telling woman who poured out her soul, asking for witnesses.

But there are no backward dances. Even a downbeat propels the feet.

Now at 55, she deserves more magic. She deserves her own love, again. She deserves to watch the sunrise with a hot cup of tea, a plan, an uncluttered head, clean and tidy spaces, and a clear way through to something else. Something that doesn’t involve filters and log-ins and backdrops or posing. Something born from her finger tips, conceived in her head.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who fell in love with her life again. With her whole damn self again, lumps, bumps, and everything in between.

And without fear, without hesitation, she hopped into action and skipped on down the road, dropping rocks from her pockets, severing tethers, and even seducing the wind…to carry her forward like a queen.


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