The only place to start is here, which is to say, in the middle of a life that has no true markers, however much you might try to find or create them. Here has no need for markers.
It’s a center with no perimeter. Which is a relief actually—to not have to worry about patting down one’s edges (that are always fraying anyway), or pulling them in or otherwise having to keep track of that fictional construction of I that we’re always fussing with, checking in the mirror to see if it’s still there and how much it has deteriorated since we last looked.
When did I start to notice that all this fussing and checking and tending was such a chore? I think it happened backwards. It was after the walls that were keeping here boxed in relaxed themselves, as if the tension that had held their molecules together couldn’t be bothered to get it up anymore.
It wasn’t dramatic. It was, in fact, a very gradual and tender sort of process. But at a certain point I noticed that my usual sense of hurtling through the backyards of life on a Bullet Train was gone. Evaporated. And here was the only place to be. I was going to say, The only place I wanted to be, but it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t a choice. Here was, and is, what is real and everything else seems to be beside the point.
I hope I’m not driving you crazy with this. I’m just trying to tell you how it is these days over here in Cronehood or Cronedom or Elderville or whatever you want to call this most interesting time of being alive in my late sixties. And to explain why the idea of my making a map makes me feel like the handless maiden. Read more »