12 for 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

By now, I've written a few essays on 2014. Each of them felt stupid, too glossy, or too sad. I kept writing the paragraphs and feeling a pit growing in my stomach and then deleting them. 2014 wasn't an easy year. It felt lonely. Big and small and the same time. Growing up is hard, I already knew that, but it never gets easier. Being accountable to yourself, your relationships, your passions, it's overwhelming at times. I feel like I'm constantly breaking out of my skin and growing into it. 

There were happy parts too though, a few trips with friends and to visit friends. The pale blue and grey sky everyday.  The calmness of building a home here with Steele. The tiny flame of a new project, which is being fed slowly. 

I could give you an entire account of 2014. But, my memories aren't that vivid. I try to isolate them and it just never happens in quite the right way. So below is a journal entry from the middle of the year. If I could sum 2014 up, this would be how:

June 9, 2014

Tonight I'm feeling content in my small life, in my home at night. I guess I wanted to write about that before I lost it.

This isn't the stuff of big stories—doing laundry in a dank and muddy laundry room (laundry basement), cleaning out cupboards and rearranging the shelf above the fridge. Steele's back is pulled so he just sits while I putter about the kitchen. This isn't dramatic. The way we do yoga in our tiny living room, barely enough space for us to each spread out, and writhe into the positions. We're not graceful. 

This isn't beautiful—not in the way you think of as beautiful. It's beautiful in the way every single day seeps into your bones and makes you who you are. And even is this is utterly quiet and small—and not even in an outwardly poetic way—even if it's a meager offering at a beautiful life—it's mine. It is mine and every second of it—the way our bodies tangle on the yoga mats, the shadows on the outside of our house from the porch latticework, Steele's open sleeping mouth, my thighs and breasts rubbed down with lotion after my shower—all of the tiny seconds are seeping into me. Saturating me, building me up layers at a time, until I resemble a human—a beautiful human. Who is made deeply and richly beautiful by all of these tiny still nights. 

And now, images, by month. Here we go: 

January, on the exit ramp to my then day job

February, down our street during a snowstorm

March, evening tea with Steele, on our porch

April, on Guemes island

May, an empty bread pan on our kitchen table
June, picking strawberries on Sauvie Island

July, catching water shadows in Washington

August, the last visit to my childhood home in Colorado

September, the vaux swifts in NW Portland

October, an underexposed self-portrait in our home

November, a moment from an ordinary day

December, catching the last light on my way home from work

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