Monday, August 31, 2009

Clean Up

A big thank you, once again, to Ms. Michaela Majoun at XPN for playing a song I needed to hear (I didn't even need to ask, but then, you really can never go wrong with Melody Gardot, in my opinion). I wasn't in the car 5 minutes this morning before "Who Will Comfort Me?" comforted me. I had been thinking of the song over the weekend, but it's not one I have (yet) in my collection so I wasn't able to play it.

Saturday I cleaned out another big chunk of mess from my room. Yes, still working on the one ROOM. How did I let so much mess accumulate, I have been wondering, in my house and in my life? The answer is by exercising an overdeveloped talent for avoidance and denial. I just don't see how much junk comes in and starts piling up. So, I tackle the clean up in pieces because it is overwhelming. After I do some of it, there's a long break before I do more. In that time, I am exhausted, and feel that I can't face taking on the next piece.

I realized too that fear holds me back from working through the whole job. When my room, for example, is emptied of the clothes I will never wear again, the things that belonged to a marriage that is over, the superfluous knickknacks, will I have excavated simplicity and beauty? Or will it just be empty? I am terrified, and I mean that quite literally, almost shaking, that when I get rid of the mess of my life there will be nothing left.

Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there. -- Eric Heffer

Without the struggle I am used to having, what is my purpose? The fear is that I will find that at bottom I am without purpose, and that I am essentially incompetent at life. No wonder I have been sliding back into escapism lately. That's a big fear. But any fear, like a demon, starts losing its power once it is named. Even Jesus asked first, of a particularly troublesome demon "What is your name?" before He drove it out (Luke 8:30). I don't have much success with overcoming fear or any other proverbial demon, without specifically identifying it first.

Meanwhile the work is to remember who I am and what my work is, underneath the accumulated confusion and mess. Despite the fear, my faith is that I will find something good about this life.
Change occurs when one becomes what she is, not when she tries to become what she is not. --Ruth P. Freedman

Thursday, August 27, 2009


A dream is an unopened letter to yourself. -- the Talmud

I am feeling a little off today, that kind of off that usually means I've got a touch of some virus, but I'm not really sick. But I had a really hard time getting up this morning. I kept falling back to sleep until finally I started having wacky dreams about trying to wake up. One dream was that our friend Howie had somehow let himself in and was sleeping on the bedroom floor 'cuz he'd had too much to drink to get home, as if this would be perfectly acceptable.

What finally got me out of bed, though, was that I dreamt about waking up hearing what sounded like the Avett Brothers themselves singing in my house, variations on a line from one of their songs, "I'll never be the same again." It was only a dream, though. How disappointing. I've never met the Avett Brothers, but their music creates this sense of knowing them, and I am sure it would be very cool, at any rate, to have them visit. I would have cooked breakfast and everything. The kids would have flipped with joy, as they, too, are fans.

Instead I am at work, getting ready to review the health insurance rosters. Sigh. And I'm wondering what frightening subconsious reality presents itself in dreams about itinerant musicians and drunk friends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Out of the Mouths

I make an effort to ease this divorce transition for my two kids. The process has really been a long one; as I've mentioned, a couple years of counseling and lifecoaching helped me get to the point of just doing it this year. The legal process took only 4 months, but the personal process took a few years. The boys have only been aware of it for the past eight months or so, when my exhusband and I separated.

One day recently, I picked up the boys from day camp. I think that afternoon they were watching "The Parent Trap" or a similar movie, and my younger son almost greeted me with the question, "Mom, you're not going to have to marry some other guy some day, are you?" So funny, the way he put it, as though there is a rule I will have to follow.

I explained that I certainly don't have to be married again (I am still in the phase of shuddering when I think of taking that kind of risk again), but it is possible that some day in the future I might consider it. Relying on the reading I've done, about reassuring kids that nothing else will change drastically in the near future, I explained that for now I'm enjoying being just the 3 of us, and spending time with my girlfriends. I pointed out how much I've been getting together with my friend Jenn, who is also in the divorce process.

At this point we were in the van. My older son asked from the far back seat, "You're not gay, are you, mom?" I almost laughed out loud. I'm glad he's open minded enough to wonder, it's just that it was so far from the reassurance of stability that I was trying to convey. This son, in particular, rather likes an audience (I don't know where he gets it from...) and I think he was disappointed. THAT would have been something interesting to tell his friends. But, no, Bunny, that's not what I meant.

The kids are always full of surprises, and the more I try to anticipate their needs, the more they seem to be on a different track entirely. They probably think the same of me - when they think they have me figured out, I go and do something unexpected. I think our relationship together is plenty to engage me, for now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Point?

Sometimes when I read over a post, I wonder why I am writing at all. The words ramble around a topic or two, or three, and there is clearly a wariness about revealing too much. It is too hard to forget, sometimes, about people that I know may be reading. What will they think? Is this offensive? What kind of backlash will there be? I'm a turtle, poking my head out and taking one tentative step forward.

On the other hand, some posts are still rambling but are pretty darned close to the way I actually think. That can frighten me. I am not so much worried about exposing myself, but about alienating myself from my friends by exposing too much of them in the process.
The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal. -- Elia Kazan

I suppose there are worse venues for developing discernment. You are all guinea pigs, really. Feel free to comment if you have any wisdom to offer on the subject. But, really, thanks for being here.

Good Stuff

It was a good weekend, with a minimum of drama. Drama refers to all sorts of upheaval, whether it's an argument with my exhusband, or the refrigerator dying or illness or accidents that land people close to me in the hospital. Nope, it was hot but good, with lots of resting on Saturday. I thought I should write a little before the usual struggles resume wreaking havoc, so I have an upbeat post for a change.

On Sunday I met an old friend that I haven't seen for years and it was perfectly comfortable. We both love books and art, and observing people. That is plenty for passing an afternoon together companionably. Also we ate lunch (eating is always good) and shopped a bit in New Hope, PA. In Farley's Bookshop, I found "Quotable Notables" notecards and quotes on stickers, from great writers.

I just pulled that package out and here is a sample from the Jane Austen stickers: "Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of despised love." Well, actually, that has a lot to do with reconnecting with old friends and making more time to get out with the girls. But that would be one of those things I'd rather "not touch because they are too near."

In the nearly ten years since we'd seen each other, V. and I have both lost our dads. Our moms cope with it differently; hers seems to be the more greatly impacted. Also V. only has one brother and he lives in England, so she feels more of the responsibility for her mom. Even when she has issues with her health, when my mom needs help it gets spread out over several siblings. V. bought a new house. I had a second child, moved at least twice, and am now divorced.

Our identities shift with some of these changes. I remember when I had my first baby, being wheeled through the back corridors of Christiana Hospital in Delaware, trying to grasp the fact that literally overnight I had become the mother of a child. It was too big to absorb quickly; only the familiar curve of the tiny bottom that had been under my hand for several weeks convinced me that I had anything to do with the appearance of this new person.

Now I am a divorced mom. Every now and then, I pause and wait for that to hit me like a brick wall. Divorce would be pretty high up on the list of things I always thought I wouldn't survive. But, nope, as Bob Dylan is singing these days, "it's all good." Working through a couple years of counseling seems to have paid off. I know how I got here, why I made my choices and I am doing just fine.
As a woman, my country is the whole world. -- Virginia Woolf

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Surrendering

Sometimes you have one of those days that you are just glad, finally glad to have end. Unfortunately, sometimes the next day goes pretty much the same. There have been several like that in a row. This morning my new fridge, which had finally arrived on Tuesday, wasn't cold. Out went 2 more containers of ice cream, waffles... the few other things that had gone in (I'm thankful I hadn't yet done a real grocery trip).

Having gone a week and a half without a real fridge, I've already outspent the budget on takeout & convenience items, and I don't get paid till tomorrow. What the hell else is going to go wrong? I've wondered. I tried to have gratitude for other things. I'm really glad I'm not that guy that was out on a roof for the second morning in a row, using a blowtorch on a hot August morning (I got to go to my nice air conditioned office instead). While I am over budget, I do keep "emergency" money in the checking account, so none of us will starve.

Then I was almost hit on the way to work because a guy was texting while he was driving. Jerk. Yes, you with the North Carolina plate XXE 5295. I was pissed off enough to take note.

Still, I have these great friends who listen to me grumble (definitely more grumbling than whining today). I try to keep it light, even entertaining, but it was still grumbling.
As always, I am bearable one moment, unbearable the next. -- Goethe
Work itself was worth grumbling about. I'm in one of those slumps where I can sit and look at the stuff that's late and almost cannot force myself to work through it. Then I had a little prodding from our Controller. That helped. I kept thinking that I have made some progress in working toward what I really want to be when I grow up, but real change still seems so far away.
Taking the small steps eventually leads somewhere, though. Back in February, just for fun, I bought a pendant that has the antique illustration of Alice putting on her crown (you can see it at Also got a fabulous t-shirt with the Gorey drawing of a girl, which reads "So many books, so little time). I'll just keep going till I get to be a Queen.

Now our Mr. Softee guy insisted on giving me a mango melon ice, when I bought some for the kids. That was the nicest thing to happen to me all day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


One of the unpleasant things about today was just the sense of generalized internal pain - I said to someone that it was like having an emotional flu. Everything just hurt and it seems that anything one can do to dull it is unhealthy. I almost miss the days when I would come home and have a few glasses of wine, and block it all out. The point now seems to be that it's necessary, if I'm going to come through things the way I want to, to let things hurt until they get better. It sucks. Every trivial frustration is hard manage in that frame of mind.

Some of it goes back to pulling out the notebook (after too long a lapse, I admit) and getting to the real stuff, the stuff that hurts. I'm not looking forward to getting back into it, to shaping the experience into something with form and purpose. I can hardly bear to go through it - who could possibly want to read it? It's the real stuff, though, that makes a story, or a poem. And the stuff I hate to look at, is a lot like the stuff nobody wants to deal with themselves. It always a discovery and a comfort to find that we are all going through the same kinds of stuff. If we could remember that, I bet we'd spend a lot less time and energy trying to hide it.
Every true poem or painting, every measure of true music is paid for with life, with suffering and blood. -- Herman Hesse

With the writing, I've also noticed that I'm progressing from just hurting to feeling angry. It's not any more comfortable, but it does seem to be moving toward resolution.

Storm's Brewing

Today was a lo-o-ong day, and I was glad to get closer to the end of it. Our local park was going to show the movie Bolt so I told the kids we'd go. They were appalled to find that I intended for us to walk the 7 blocks or so, but they had been in the house all day with far too little activity. Besides, I am that kind of cruel, sadistic mom. So, we stopped at our 7-11 for Slurpees and snacks but when we got to the playground, we ran into some neighbors who told us the movie had just been cancelled due to the expected rain.

First, I was grateful that my kids are a couple of years past the piercing wails of "But I wanted to see the MOO-OOO-VIE!" I had been more interested in getting us all a little exercise and fresh air, honestly, and just spending some time with them. It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything I'm processing, and forget how much they need attention from me and other adults through this divorce experience.

Dark storm clouds were marching toward us as we walked, and the wind was kicking up. The boys were worried about the storm breaking on us, but I love a good storm. We did get home before the rain hit but I wouldn't have minded getting wet. It was so hot on the way up to the park, the air not moving at all. Now it's windy and noticeably cooler. A good dousing would have felt great, with no where to go but home to change into dry clothes (preferably pj's) and a movie from our recordings (we've picked Shrek 3, and the kids are bearing with me blogging at the same time).

And all the crap that was weighing on my mind is lifting a little, too. Thank goodness, Sears finally delivered the new refrigerator.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where were we?

A couple weeks ago, when the boys were away at camp, one of my friends came over to hang out. We sat on my sofa and were talking about the mystery of all the time that went into our relationships, into the mirage that nothing was wrong. "Where was I all those years?" she has asked herself, and to some degree, I have wondered the same thing.

There was a time a couple of years back, when I was so frustrated with trying to do the right thing, to be a good wife, to figure out what else I needed to do better to make things work. It was impossible, and I had reached the point of being angry. Angry with myself, and angry with God, because I felt compelled to keep trying to make the marriage commitment work but God was not helping. At least that's what I felt at the time.

My friend Barb pointed me then to the words of Joel "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten." (Joel 2:25). There's so much poetry in the Old Testament; I suspect sometimes that it was first my love of the the language that drew me into Scripture. Notice it's not only labor and sustenance that have been consumed, but the years, the incalculable quantity of life that was taken.

Yesterday there were actually moments when I stopped to be conscious of being in the present, without daydreaming or worrying, and it didn't hurt. It was amazing. Today, the pain is back in full force but it's okay. There will be more of those moments, I am sure of it. Somehow I have joy at the same time that I am aware of hurting. Last night I took the advice of my counselor, Hero, and "wrote from the pain," something that we usually avoid by instinct. When we do it, though, write or paint or make music, whatever the channel is for us, from a place that we want to avoid, that is completely the right choice. It is the source of my hope for redemption of the years that were lost, not just starting over with nothing, but turning the loss itself to a purpose.
Pain is filtered in a poem until it becomes in the end, finally, pleasure.
-- Mark Strand

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Writing Calls

I want to offer an apology for last night's blog. When I sat down and started typing, I completely lost my train of thought. So many different hurts and discoveries were bubbling to the surface, and while I don't mind exposing myself to some degree, it was too much and too fast to be able to process and decide what was worth sharing. The result seemed to me to be like the pointless rambling of an annoying drunk.

For several weeks, I have been so occupied in clawing my way through each day (yes, at times it really has felt that way, like scaling a bald rock face) that I have neglected writing, which is counterproductive. It bottles up in me until it hurts more than anything else, and I ask myself, why do I DO this? I should know better by now.

Then I sit down, as I did Friday at lunch, with my notebook and a pen, and start to scratch the surface. What results is something like being responsible for a toddler, and realizing suddenly that the child should have been fed a couple of hours ago, so now he's hungry, tired, and miserable, and it is necessary to work on each of those things separately but at once.

Poems are coming at me from every direction, and story ideas, and impressions that I need to get down, because they will have a purpose in something, some time. Meanwhile, I still need to clean enough that there's a clear path for the fridge to be delivered today, and I am taking the kids to swim with my mom this afternoon - things I'd rather forget, and go hole up somewhere with my notebook. Damn! Real life & writing, at odds again. Who said that "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia" -? I'll have to look it up and report back. [note: I checked. It was E.L. Doctorow]

Give me a pen, that I may become somebody in the future.
-- Sudanese song, quoted in "The Sudan," Vanity Fair
magazine, July 1993

Correction, in quoting M. Atwood

I'd misquoted Margaret Atwood in a recent post. This passage is the last paragraph of Ch. 33 in her novel, Alias Grace.
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind [...]. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
The trick I need to master, is in going from confusion to confusion (there has been very little but that for several years), to be able to tell one story while in the middle of another one.

Incidentally, when reading Margaret Atwood I find every paragraph, sometimes each individual sentence to be a discovery. I have realized that I'm holding my breath, waiting to see what the next page will bring not in terms of the story but in terms of how she reveals it. It was how she wrote, for example, Oryx and Crake, that I loved, though I found the story creepy and disturbing. It gave me nightmares about climate change, before it became a topic in the media.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sleeping through heat & hurt

It's stinkin' hot today, and all I've wanted to do is sleep. There are probably several reasons for that: I had a couple of glasses of wine last night with a friend, it's been an emotional couple of days, it IS hot, and certain stages in the usual hormonal patterns involve a need for lots and lots of sleep, for me, anyway...

However, I took the kids to the Y for a swim team reunion barbecue, and got some exercise. After that I was tempted to nap some more, but that's just getting ridiculous. Took a walk to Acme to get a few things to make dinner (the new fridge comes tomorrow, hallelujah - this dorm size fridge is just not cutting it for us), and have fed the kids like a good mom.

I'd signed up for a daily devotional email from When I started getting them, I thought they were speaking to a stage of divorcing that I'm long past, but in the past week I've found them to be pretty much on target. So on target sometimes, that I think the writer should piss off, for having touched on some sore spots. Dr. Jim Talley has addressed the way that a divorce, in every case, involves stripping away the familiar. Whatever else you're feeling, there's that pain of not having familiar structure and routine. I had that. There's so many ways we can try to elude that pain - alcohol, starting new relationships before we're ready, whatever. I've found that I might not even know how much I'm trying to escape, until somebody pulls the plug on one of those numbing experiences. Sleep is probably the most innocuous escape for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

fragment: Ntozake Shange

why dontcha c'mon & live my life for me/since the
poems aint' enuf / go on & live my life for me / i didn't want
moments at all / i'd give 'em to anybody
-- Ntozake Shange, "on becoming successful"


"Well!" thought Alice to herself. "After such a fall as this, I shall
think nothing of tumbling downstairs!" -- Lewis Carroll

I just noticed that I quoted Alice in the last post, also. Not infrequently, I feel like Alice, among strange people in a world with rules that make sense less often than they don't. I had put that quote in my little collection book when I took a tumble down stairs, which put me in the hospital for a week and half, with a permanently dysfunctional and disfigured ankle (it used to be amusing when the hardware set off metal detectors in airports).

Today was a tumbling sort of day. It started very low. I felt all the vulnerability of the changes in my life, and its losses, longing for comfort from almost any quarter that would make itself available. I've struggled too long, though, not to keep pressing forward. I forced myself to focus on work, while I was at work, and took myself out to lunch with my notebook, which I've treated like an unappreciated lover lately.

After lunch, I returned a call from my attorney, to find that the divorce is now final. I am glad, I know I am glad. It marks a milestone in several years of struggle, introspection, counseling and work. How sad, though, the years that have gone by, and the ways that I lost touch with myself. I'm shaking it off, mentally. There's been more growth because of those years. And, I remind myself, if nothing else, the experience gives me more to write about.

There's so much to write, to catch up. I noticed that I misquoted Margaret Atwood in a recent post, and will correct that soon in a post of its own ("A story isn't a story at all..."). I have the book, Alias Grace, somewhere in the house. I've pulled so much out in order to sort through it, getting rid of some things and organizing the rest: there's a symmetry between my physical world and my internal reality.

Thanks to you who read what I write. I've noticed some of you following me on Twitter. I will soon figure out how to post my Twitter info here, though I'm not yet very good at tweets (I'm brookbarb on Twitter, if that helps). For now, it's time to get the kids to bed. I'm looking ahead to a weekend that should be much less hectic than the past few have been.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Ramble

I'm just in from a Girls' Nite/ Happy Hour. It's a pretty good happy hour, these days, to keep me out till ten (not like the old days, when that would be nothing). Fun, too, to bring together women friends from different corners of life - work, church, family - to mark a milestone of a new beginning. It was fun; I think the friends were surprised that I could sing along to a couple of the songs played by the Irish music band at the first bar. How often do I get to exercise that dubious talent?

Still, I was beginning to look forward to getting home, to write a bit and put on my own music, which right now is Shemekia Copeland's Never Going Back CD. "There's nothing like staying at home for real comfort," as Jane Austen wrote, however facetiously, in Emma. Best of all is a balance: getting out for a while, but being glad to get home and finding that once again home is a place of peace, because for a long time it just wasn't.

I don't find that "I live in the crowd of jollity, not so much to enjoy company as to shun myself" (Samuel Johnson), in fact I enjoy my own company at least as much as most other people's. It was a good crew tonight, though, and good laughs.

I will be glad to pick up my boys from camp tomorrow, to hear about all their fun week and to bring them home for their own peace. The balance is that I've also enjoyed having the house to myself, getting some work done and some rest, too. It's a different world when I get up in the morning and am responsible for no one but myself, but even that reminds me that it is good to have children who steady me with a sense of purpose. There are times when no other purpose is as clear as the need to be there for the kids. My life has creative purpose; I'm just not always sure what it is or how to get to the next point. The kids keep me from stalling out while I'm figuring out what to do next beyond surviving.
It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it.
-- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Thanks, friends, all of you. Sometimes it is good just to be puzzled together.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Your love is like a roller coaster, baby, baby...
I almost attributed that line to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's not who did the song originally but I am so tired, I just can't think of the name of the original artist. Maybe if I keep typing it will come to me.

The song, anyway, was on the radio the other morning; yes, you guessed it, Michaela Majoun played it on WXPN as part of a 9 am select-a-set. It reminded me of Cindy Kephart,a woman I'd worked with in Wilmington, DE. Cindy had a very polished look and could work a scarf like nobody's business. She told me two things that I still remember, no three things: First, this was actually the lastest bit: Epidurals are our friends. Very good so far (I discovered that was true later). Second, she had told me that there will be days when all we can do is show up at work and that's just got to be accepted. Third, she said that you find out by the time you're thirty that life is like a roller coaster. When all else fails throw your arms in the air and yell "wheee!"

It was interesting to hear that from her, as she always seemed to have things pretty much under control. Of course, that may have had a lot to do with my perspective at the time - younger (early to mid-twenties) trying to figure out and keep up with the corporate world, identifying and exorcising some of my personal demons and still wondering what I was going to do with my life.

Things are certainly rolling up and down. Good news today was that my mom's visit to the oncologist did not lead to a schedule of chemotherapy. Mom has had two bouts with uterine cancer and now has nodules on a lung. Not so good. The onc said, though, that they are small (we knew that) and that they are not fast-growing, so he'd like to wait 6 weeks for some additional test results. So, not out of the water but not in crisis mode yet, either.

Whew. Relief. But a letdown, all that tension of bracing for the news. I'm thankful. We've all expressed our appreciation, too, that being so many siblings means we are an instant network of support. My brother the pharmaceutical rep specializes in oncology meds, so he went with mom to the appointment, understanding more of the disease and the treatments than the rest of us. Thanks, Mike.

I realized today that waiting for your official divorce decree to arrive in the mail is a lot like looking in the paper every day for an obituary for someone that you already know has died. Fait accompli, but you're just hanging on for it. Still, there's the stuff that's done and the stuff I still have to do - literally stuff - to pack up and to throw out (I'm working on all that while the kids are away at camp), and my friend Sue tells me I need to take time to heal, to just EXHALE. Hmm.

And then? Well, that's on the other side of this climb up the hill, the part where I can throw my hands in the air and yell, "whee..."

The fear of freedom is strong within us.
-- Germaine Greer

Monday, August 3, 2009


Forces have conspired to keep me from blogging. The computer at home suffered the loss of its monitor. The kids tell me, don't worry, Santa can bring you a laptop for Christmas. I am not counting on Santa, but hope that by that time I can manage a Mini, at least.

Worse than that, though: the Watchguard service at the office is blocking all blogs and forums. Too awful, but true. We'll see how long that lasts, as I know some people are being prevented from doing actual work, and the logic in the code is far from reliable. It won't allow access to an msn article on "Finding Your Soulmate" for references to "Lingerie & Swimwear" but seems to have no problem at all with full articles on Yahoo! about... well, the Girl's Guide to certain sex practices. I was, of course, only testing the restrictions...

Meanwhile, the kids are off to a week of sleepaway camp! It is hard not to show my excitement when I'm packing them up, as they take it very personally. But I can take all the time in the world to get this computer running and access the web by dialup, reset the security features for cookies so I can blog... because I don't have parenting duties! How exciting.

How to catch up? or to start over? I had quickly written a bit a few weeks ago on poetry for fun, which drove me to find my copy of Ntozake Shange's Nappy Edges.
poetry is unavoidable connection/
some people get married/others join the Church
i carry notebooks so i can tell us what happened
-- "inquiry"

If, as Adrienne Rich wrote, "the moment of change is the only poem," it is hard to find the poetry in the changes of this life. I have been reading Brenda Sheaffer's book Is it Love? Or is it Addiction? Through it I am seeing an intellectual map for everything I have been learning viscerally over several years - getting the Smart Notes version. But the change has been more along the lines of tectonic plates shifting than moments of change. That observation may evolve with some distance in perspective.

When you're in the middle of it, a story is not a story at all but a blind wreckage [...] It only becomes a story when you tell it to someone, to yourself or to another person. -- Margaret Atwood, in Alias Grace

I am only beginning to feel that I've climbed free of the wreckage. With time and with distance I will be able to come back, come to "explore the wreck." I will come "to see the damage that was done/and the treasures that prevail." (Adrienne Rich, "Diving into the Wreck")