Why not tell this story?
How could I live with myself for keeping it quiet?
Once while I was with my last love, while my children were away, I drank a tea, with ingredients foraged in the rose gardens of Ladd's Addition, meant to send me on a spirit journey. In that journey I remember most vividly two things: naming myself and the people in my life. ("I am Sarah. I love him. I am a writer. I am a mother. I love to run!" I said other things too.) And saying to myself, over and over, "why do people keep secrets?"
I swam in the wild swirling spiraling psychedelic kaleidoscope; I watched the universe empty to blackness, to only my own consciousness. I slowly watched as I reached with the hands of my mind and pulled in artists and scientists and philosophers, like ship's rope pulled in, hand-over-hand. Da Vinci. Homer. Ovid. Beethoven. Picasso. Mozart. This is what I made the universe of.
But after the creation of the universe, the anxieties: my oldest son, my lover's oldest daughter, how they fought against this combination. Money, how little I had of it. My house. "Secrets" was the biggest anxiety of all, how my brain and body and spirit built up pressure behind the ice dam of imposed quiet, how my love and my desires had to be kept in the green walls of the bedroom where I lie, spinning with the newly-made universe in black clouds around my mind. I know now that dams like this build such high pressure that the water goes below freezing. Give it enough and cracks start to form, cracks that the water will force itself through molecule by molecule, creating friction as the supercool water competes to escape the force.
Until the dam explodes.
For years I kept secrets. Eight years of my abusive ex-boyfriend and then, more, I could not tell more than "violent," more than "controlling." I never spoke the extent, not until I published an essay. Still -- who read it? Dozens? Hundreds? I wish I knew. After that was the secret of unhappiness in my marriage. The alcoholism, the screaming fights, the fear. The love, the happiness too; had to be kept secret. It didn't fit the mold.
I am done with secrets. Two years ago almost I wrote a blog post. I called it "amory." I kept saying for months after, "I didn't mean it like that." I'd taken it down within hours. Too inflammatory. What about his divorce? Then, later, what about mine?
The relationship was a waking dream; the relationship was a vivid fantasy that lived so bright in each of our subconsciouses it was almost real; the relationship was attempted, beautifully, lushly, destructively. My post was a prophecy, or it self-fulfilled. It created its own life and wholeness. We all came together in hope and awkwardness, a polyamorous family. We all fell apart.
I'm trying again. Polyamory without limits or vetoes. Polyamory that believes love is not a zero sum game. Polyamory that's raucous, embracing, everyone together now.
I am scientist enough to believe in this, believe I create worlds when I lie on my back in a room painted in green; believe I create life when I wake up each day. For years and years in my secrets, secrets kept even from myself, I prophesied the life I attempt now.
Now I know to listen.comments powered by Disqus