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Breathe in and out

It's today now and I'm content unlike any time before. In my head I hear the ocean, the way it sounds at night, white noise, breathing in and out, in and out, consistent and expected like a heart beat. In my head I hear the forest, the way it sounds at night, the occasional twig breaking beneath the weight of an invisible animal, the flesh of the trees breathing in and out, in and out. In my head I hear the desert, the hum of heat rising in gasoline waves from the horizon, the white sun breathing in and out, in and out.

Last night I lay awake and thought of the broken child. Torn from within and torn from without. I lay awake, rolling from left to right and back again, searching for the cool spot on the sheets, watching the red numbers of the clock jump to 300. Thoughts of the torn child, a little girl, suddenly homeless. I took her in and gave her love, but no love was enough and she aged faster than she should, an old soul by sixteen. I lost her to her demons then. She ran and she ran and she ran, one day to return world-weary and docile, with three little babies sired by three hateful men. She had kept her shape: she relied on her body as a commodity, to be bought and sold, the price of keeping those little mouths fed. I still see that little girl with that gaping wound in a place where no blood should flow.

When 300 hit I turned my thoughts to the man with the mild manner and the crazy brilliant mind. I pictured us lying in bed together, me reading my book and him reading his book. Limbs entwined, physically one but mentally separate, searching for truth in words and inspiration in silence. I pictured us walking in central park, beneath a night sky brightened by snow, the flakes resting on his eyelashes for a split second before turning from white to invisi-wet. his glasses fogged up by breath hot with ideas, a brain burning furiously. I pictured holding his gloved hand tenderly, taking some of his darkness into me, giving him some of my darkness in return. Fuck existential loneliness I would think in my head.

And so I say hmm, hmm, hmm. Music is like a current running through me tonight. A river wild and beautiful, black rushing water and fluorescent white eddies, all through me tonight. Open the floodgates, he sings. Damien Jurado, Will Oldham, Sun Kil Moon, Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, Dan Auerbach, Whiskeytown. Jason Molina haunted me today. A familiar ache rose up within me, and it was beautiful this time. I heard the sadness and it passed through me. Gut reaction was to cry, but tears of joy this time. This time is better. This time feels good. I feel it all. I let it come. I let it go. I am alive. I can think of no better thing. No better state of being. Content.

I sing love songs to the spring air that settles on my skin. I can barely remember the words so I make them up as I go. Nonsensical and light. A love song sung for me. Self-love. Funny that. I certainly don't mind pining for no one. Don't get me wrong -- I pine. But not for a person. Not for a person, place, or thing. I pine for freedom of the spirit. Continued ache. Pain gives rise to creativity. We suffer for our art. Or not. It's a noble thought, although not entirely practical or reasonable.

Damien Jurado -- Caught in the Trees. The soundtrack for right now. Sweet, dirty, raw. Like whiskey.

I want to scream expletives for the simple joy of it. What next will enter me? I am open to it all.

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