I thought my word of 2020 would be acceptance – as in accepting the things I cannot change, and changing the things I cannot accept – but it fell flat somewhere. That’s a tall order for a year, much less a lifetime, and especially for a near future filled with dying koalas and dying humans and so much unrest and destruction and misunderstanding. I cannot. I just cannot.
My word is actually “Drive,” you see. It doesn’t have to change the world, not in a year, but let’s see what we can do. Life sometimes, is so tedious. It’s in the amount of time it takes to dry your hair. Waiting for the waves of a broken heart to recede, or even the fires of a broken stomach to burn through to just a smoky echo. It’s slipping on the ice layers on the driveway, again, and nearly submitting an Instagram draft that took you four hours – only to realize they asked for text overlay for each individual photo. And you’re in for another four hours of frustrating work.
It’s when he asks the same questions, again and again, and she needs the same tuck-in, again and again, even though you’re cluttered and clustered under three blankets and two pets – deep into dreams of tidal waves and fire; rickety boats and rescues. Terror, relief, desire, despair.
You wake up with a cold gasp. The stove is out of pellets again, and anyway, sometimes it’s hard to face yourself in the mirror. Terror, relief, desire, despair – writing itself in lines across your face.
Watched minutes, boiling pots, and conscious breathing – it all trips me up. What if you could feel time turning? Seconds and minutes drawn in and out like a breath. What if you couldn’t exhale into the moments – couldn’t let them all blur together, not too fast, not too slowly? What if you watched the lines deepen and the age spots fill in? Watched the colors fill in the shapes – sometimes in the lines and sometimes outside the lines – color by color by depth by dimension.
If you look too far behind you, you’re stuck in the thickness – like your van’s tires through ice and mud. If you look too far ahead of you, you’ll be watching every second, minute, hour, day, month, year that propels you forward. Drive doesn’t push you forward too fast, in fact. It gets you lost in the moments so you don’t watch them tick by. Not another line on the prison wall, and notch on your belt. Blurs and swirls and twirls of color. That’s what gets you to where you’re going – out of order and askew – many steps forward, and many steps back. Yet, it’s still in the right direction.
I sometimes get concerned by how anyone does anything with what they’re given, what they’ve got, what they’re fighting against and for, and for how long they’ve been fighting. I get concerned about myself. Some of us have anxiety – crippling and choking at times – and settled and sleeping at others. Some of us have depression – from different causes and with different degrees and durations. And some of us have both, or neither. Some of our quirks and obstacles are superpowers, and some aren’t. What is it that moves us forward – and makes time tick by unknown and unwatched? What lets the lines write their own deepening stories on our faces?
It’s like I said above. I get concerned by how anyone does anything with what they’re given, what they’ve got, what they’re fighting against and for, and how long they’ve fought, because, as I said, I get concerned by how I do so. It depends on my drive; my drives. These waves and patterns pressing down on my skin – not line by line – but etched and sketched and branded and burning. Burning within me, and without me, and yet I love to trace each color and line.
Drive is what keeps you searching – the lighthouse in your series of storms. Drive is what keeps you pacing yourself – falling into breaths and rhythms so steady and unique to you – that it’s ok when you stop having to move them along. They are you, and you are them, and the world goes by in a beautiful, colorful blur. It’s not too fast; not too slow. You’re not too fast; not too slow.
Drive is what keeps you steadier on the ice – day after day for over three months of every year. Drive helps you build bridges and ramps, over rising waters and waves and rocks and canyons, and maybe drive is what helps you settle into a different place – so steady and unique to you.
And drive is what helps you write the notes to the songs, and the words on the letters to the people you love – in all the ways you love every person in your life that you love. In all of the familiar and unexpected ways – safe and sound and connected. Complex, and never fragile.
Drive is what keeps me here on this blog, (nearly ten years in) and it’s also what keeps me here – searching and growing and surviving and thriving. It’s in the off beats, the drumbeats, the heartbeats, and the steady and unique rhythms – subtly drowning out the ticking of the clock.
When you shake?
Who’s gonna come around
When you break?”
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another fun and challenging prompt. This week’s topic is “My word for 2020 is..” There’s time to write yours. Link up your post HERE.