Exactly a year ago, I wrote this:
I begin to run. I was flushed from our hike, our afternoon above the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing the bridge for the first time, the ocean, the sunset, our picnic, pelicans.
I have been trying to decide: fiction or poetry. City or country. Lover or loved.
Suddenly I realized it didn’t matter. I was happy and out of breath and not cold. Suddenly I realized the choice was already made, all the choices are already being made, even my poems, sleeping in their little sections: they are good or not good. They will be read or not read.
I have done, I am doing, everything I possibly can about it.
I will never write enough. I will never publish enough or win enough or earn enough or love enough or live enough. And it was freeing, not sad. I shook it off. I suddenly wanted to run. I suddenly could not get down the hill fast enough. I suddenly realized there is so little holding me in my body: black sweater with the thumb holes I stole from my sister, bright blue T-shirt, tennis shoes, jeans splashed with mud, muddy blonde hair in pigtails, muddy brown eyes in lashes, freckles, five feet eight inches, one hundred something pounds, twenty-seven years and ten months.
I begin to run because I have something to catch. I am running toward something. I cannot see it yet, but it does not matter, as long as I keep moving. It gets clearer and clearer the closer I get, like the bridge becoming bridge.
I ran home. I ran past home. I could run clear to the beach. I could run clear through the surf, to the seals, to the sharks, to the prison, to the other side. I would go the long way, around the world. I am coming up on a corner I can feel.
I suddenly realized, should I leave my body, I would break not into blossom, but into flame.
Today I woke early, went to school, did an errand. I was scared, and then waiting in line, I became calmer and calmer, centered, complete. On the way home, I found a lime on the sidewalk, perfect as if it fell from the tree in my yard in California, a lifetime ago. A year ago.
Tonight: steaks and brussel sprouts with hazelnuts for dinner, wine. For dessert: a surprise, something vanilla.