A long time ago, in a child’s hand, I wrote that in 2010 I would be in Seattle. Funny to find it’s come true. Other things haven’t, (according to the same paper, I was going to be married, with 3 kids, and a veterinarian, because I love animals and animals love me).
In Seattle I have teetered between many things. I desperately love this city, but I find the people difficult to connect to. I feel at home and at the same time so far away. I often feel as though I am tumbling through 25, holding a job without depth, writing less than I wanted to, and drifting aimlessly among people I barely know who barely know me.
Then something happens, and things get re-evaluated.
So much of my poetry concerns body, but with an absolute void where mine ought to be. My poems circle around self, define self through others. I often feel I need to be touched to be reassured I am alive. For a time, I felt I was disappearing here- where I thought my definitions were solid suddenly vanished and I was left drifting and uncertain and veering towards depressed. I took dance classes, I kept taking walks, I wrote, but until today I hadn’t realized how completely I’ve come out of that period.
Thanks to a snowflake. (Of course, a symbol– but being part of my life doesn’t mean you are part of the internet. So I stick to the symbol.) What dance classes couldn’t do I’ve learned with other help- how to inhabit my own body. New Year’s Eve found me dancing wildly in sequins to the African drumbeats pulsing in our living room, surrounded by new friends and old, family chosen and blood.
This isn’t to say I won’t have a difficult time with some things that are edging on my horizon. But today, for the first time in a long while, I felt a deep peace that was dependent on no one but myself.
So here I am, 2010, in Seattle. A city I fall in love with again and again, and heart open, my body my own. Here I am dancing in a living room, dancing on a rooftop, dancing on the mucked floor of a cheap bar, my head tilted to the way I sway. Even if someone is watching. Even if no one is watching.