August 1 is a humbling day, as I also have two pieces up at Corium Magazine today. They include one of my most favorite of the prose poems (“Prognosis”) and my favorite-ever bio.
I wrote the bio because Corium has a very kind policy where they won’t reject your work on your birthday. This started me thinking about birthdays. And then astrological signs, which I sort of believe in a little bit, and then the turn that the bio takes at the end.
Here’s a secret, loves: when I wrote “that thing you said that time,” I was thinking of an actual time, an actual you, an actual statement. But here’s the other secret: I could have asked the speaker what it meant, but I didn’t. Sometimes we need to believe things we aren’t actually ready to know. This was one of those times. (Sometimes the inverse is true, too—we know things we can hardly believe—but that’s another set of stories.) So I do still wonder a little bit, but at my core, I’m still believing. And at the end of it all, on some level, isn’t that what matters?
I’m big on faith and belief, though not necessarily in a religious sense. For me, it’s often faith & belief in people and in their roles in my life. Relationships, like most things, have seasons. But I tend to believe that the bloom’s never off the rose for long.
Last week, I sat in the farm of my childhood, my spiritual (though not physical) home, with my best friend from middle school. Our friendship, too, has gone through seasons, though we remain quite close. But sitting there, we talked late into the night about things—One of us mentioned how this farm was the place where he would mail me letters when we were young. He asked me about a line of an essay referring to my family. He mentioned being in sixth grade and first reading my writing. I remembered that he was the first person, aside from teachers, who liked my work, and I remembered how significant that was.
Sitting there, I realized that, though my life isn’t at all what I expected it to become, one thing I’d have known for certain back when I was 12 was that decades later, he & I would still be having those conversations, still be in it—whatever “it” is—together.
I should probably clarify that the line in the Corium bio isn’t referring to this friend at all. But it’s the same sentiment: an abiding belief that the people who belong in your life will always be there, and you in theirs.
So keep the faith, loves.