this plot has been mostly fallow, consumed as it was by daily harvest, sowing seeds of memory that left the ground barren. and now i've forgotten how to farm.
last week, we cruised to boston harbor marina, and having just run a half marathon and not eaten, the alcohol hit harder than normal, to the point that by the time we returned to luhr beach, i very nearly fell out of the boat. in any case, too eager to prepare the boat for the trailer, i jumped into the water, my cell phone still in my pocket.
it is a phone supposedly protected from such immersion, but a year or so ago, having cracked the screen, the act of replacing it via non-approved means, meant that the seal and the salt were too much. i lost the phone, but saved the micro sd card, which then seemed to me very much like a diary, storying all the memories my brain cannot otherwise hold. i now have a new phone.
we sailed again a week later, another incomparable late summer day on the sound, and having avoided alcohol the entire time since, i still found myself overwhelmed with happiness, and talkative. we stopped at zittel's marina and fueled up, then returned to boston harbor, a little choppier than before, but more or less sober, it reminded me that there is still good to be experienced in this world.
before we launched, i found myself upset with someone who never existed, an unnamed sibling that never came to be. weeks before, my mother had implored me to propose adoption of my niece's children, she having been recently subject to an apparent negative child welfare visit. my parents have always seemed to be desperate to save the children of our family (and non-family) and it never seemed to me anything other than odd, i never assigned it any meaning.
but thinking about it further, especially since my step-father died in 2018, i remember overhearing the quiet talk that takes place between parents when they do not know that children, with their supreme sense of hearing, are in earshot. he had wanted a child, it appeared, and it was not to be, and seemingly out of guilt or regret, this loss manifested in a longing to save whatever child might need be saved.
i joked with alex about how terrible life would have been had this sibling come to be, how adored and protected this perfect kid would have been. we were laughing, but it hit me how apparent this conclusion would be to an outsider, this heretofore inexplicable longing.
when i was young, when they first got married and our routine had been upended, my dog taken from me, it had not gone as smoothly as one might have hoped. not long after, i was exposed for the first time to counseling. this would have been in the early 1980s. i have absolutely nothing against therapy, in fact, i'm grateful to the therapist who helped my daughter when she was at a low point in her life. but the way it was presented to me was as a punishment, or at the very least, a fix for something that i had broken. and it was unpleasant and awkward and guilt inducing. i left each session feeling at fault and ashamed, and more than anything, unhappier than when i arrived.
i miss my diary, my regular journaling. the catharsis in writing out my thoughts and cares and concerns.
but that aside, the last two weeks have been a joyous revelation, and a reminder that happiness has its place. and i feel like that place is near.