I’m trying to do all the right things now: exercise; eat right; spend time outside and with people who love me; be still in each moment; breathe and breathe again, but not in a gasping, panicky way. This remains a shitty time; I’m in a deep well of waiting and I have to find ways to make that okay. I long for motion, though: my impatient mind goes to terrible places, my restless hands cannot stop fretting at the edges. (This house is the scene of so many failures, I can’t help but replay them in an endless loop of self-punishment.)
After a gulpy, shallow-breathed weekend, I took my camera out into the nearby alleys at dusk a couple weeks back, stalking my winter-dazed neighbors, who were all outside wearing first-of-the-season shorts and tending their grills. The air was full of spring, all new green with top notes of lighter fluid and burning meat. We’re a porch and stoop culture here in the Near South, a neighborhood I experienced as a student ghetto twenty years ago, but which has slid into pockets of plain old ghetto in the years since. Outdoor living happens in front of the house here, not on the back decks and patios of farther-flung Lincoln.
Although I’m hoping to leave here soon, I mean to scour every inch of this hood for texture, shadow, interesting bloom and rot. Y’know, find the beauty where I am, even if it only lasts a couple glorious weeks.