-94 : Swift Birds

“Skies grow darker. Currents swept you out again.” — TS

Those little moments of grace when someone gives you exactly what you need, despite it not being your right to ask, or their obligation to do so.

The nascent ability to just shut the fuck up and take a lecture, when and where one is offered. There’s always some worthwhile truth in a lecture, if you pay enough attention, and stow your ego long enough to hear it.

A Fight Club vacation, in which, perhaps, we are merely imagined projections of what the other person needs to see the day, that hour, in that moment. Or are we ever really much more than imagined projections of what the other person needs to see, in that moment? Unless we happen to be punching one another in the head, or caught up in the flow of transcendent sex, or doing a long pause stare down over some mutual understanding (or mutual confusion), or in the tragically mere seconds per day of a hold-me-tight embrace — aside from those times, it’s almost all virtual and illusory. Glancing blows to the head rather than the solid meaty connection of knuckles on bone.

I thought, up until a year and thirteen days ago, that I had to get my mind and emotions right before I could get my body right. Now I think that if — somehow — I’d been able to get my body right, my mind and emotions would have naturally followed, like sea birds over a riptide.

mosaic less-broken hearts

A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on

Last fall, and through the winter, I had this playlist on my phone. I listened to it over and over and over… for what now seems like months, it was my morning go to; my calibration routine for each new day of refactoring my life and rewiring my brain. It was mostly Swift birds; mostly songs about love and loss and the faintest flicker of new hope. It was a guide across that J unbelievable new tesseract bridge M I’d discovered; a bridge that had been hiding in plain sight, maybe for decades.

Those songs had a flow, from one to the next; a rationale for dancing in the way too early pre-dawn in a dark studio to the flickering light of a rekindled wood stove. A way through to blogging without saying too much. A beacon out of the seemingly-endless night. “Lantern burning; flickered in the night for only you.”

Call It What You Want To.

I called it This Love, and while for the longest time it seemed to be about and for something else, ends up it was about learning how to love things again. Discovering that I could love anything again, for real. Then, right around my re: Birthday, I decided it was time to go on without it. That while I still loved that guide, and craved its guidance sometimes, it was overdue. It was time to move on. So I deleted it; carefully, weighing options. Knowing that once it was gone, it was gone for good. I think it’s smart to learn how to throw away things that aren’t working for me anymore, no matter their former utility, or my fondness for how far they got me along a new path. Gotta shed that skin if you want to keep on growing.

I comb back through my memories of this year, like unfolding the hard-won wrinkles in that tesseract bridge. Maybe that unfolding is this; maybe that’s what this loop chain back to origin, back to ‘0,0’ is. And it’s startling — sometimes a little wondrous — the things that I find in those creases. The segments jumped over en route to this waypoint; this destination at the other side of the chasm.

“Make a bridge drawing,” she said; cryptically. Instead I made a photograph, and a windy metaphor for what it represented; a geography of hope and intent; a for-once-in-my-goddamned-life actual plan. The bridge rests on piers; the piers march out to sea; that blue sky rectangle at the end seems impossible, unobtainable, but I know my mission is to just get to the first archway, and find a way through; one portal at a time. Because you can never actually do two things at once — you’re just dumb enough to think you can.

Here’s my bridge. Here’s my tesseract. Here’s my hope, my basket of old fears, my wild-eyed new dream.’Cause this love is brave and wild-eyed.

Oh oh. Oh oh. Oh oh.