My close friend has a book out. I just read it cover to cover, and although I’ve read most of those poems in various forms throughout the past couple of years, the collection still brought me to tears. It’s a gorgeous expression of passion and heartache, yearning and loss. It’s the paradoxical exhilaration and grief that surround the metamorphosis of woman to wife to mother and then that the long flight back to find the woman again.
Being a 35 year-old woman is a lot like being a 25 year-old woman or an 18 year-old-woman or a 13 year-old-woman; you are always searching. You are always seeking that thing that will fill you up, only there isn’t anything, and finally, at 35 you are beginning to accept it. There’s an emptiness that comes with being a woman. It’s what forces us to keep our bellies and our homes full life and movement. If we’re lucky, which I have been, we create tribes of other women to fill that space and find joy in things we can’t put on shelves. We can’t reject our instinct to gather and nurture, there is primal beauty in those urges, but we must reject the idea that the things we think we need will be enough to fill all that emptiness. What I’ve needed all those years, what we’ve all needed, we already own, we just have a hard time finding it in the blind space of our busy lives. It wasn’t until I unfolded and stretched out those damp, new wings that I found it, and by then I barely even needed it. I was already on my way home.