Sometimes, sitting down to write is like sitting down to take a dump. Can you believe I just wrote that? Can you believe I’m not going to delete it? I’ve started this post six times, and at a certain point, you just have to jump into it – into the post, into the words, into the bracing chill of the lake, the water so high from all of this rain.

We are in Amherst for a couple of days visiting family. Today, Greg and I woke up in my old room, in the very spot where we kissed for the first time eleven years ago. The very spot where I pined for him before I knew it was him, as a teenager angsting for true love. The spot where my girlfriends and I wrote poems and shared secrets and smoked and laughed and danced and cried, the spot where I fooled around with the few fleeting boyfriends I had in high school. The spot where I dreamed and schemed and watched the moon and circled the seasons like a bird and fled the nest and came home, again and again.

Waking in the corner of  the room that was for so long mine (now it’s floor to ceiling with my father’s books), I found myself thinking that everything works out. Not necessarily when or how I thought it would, but in its own time, in its own form, things take shape. Fall apart, come together, baffle me then make sense again. Form comes and goes. It’s usually when I get myopic, when I can’t see beyond what I think I want or what I think should happen or what I think is not working, that I get lost. I’ve written about this before, this place, this house of love. And still it strikes me sometimes, its changing and unchanging nature. And how I keep finding myself here, finding self, losing self, growing, changing.

The hundred-year-old trees have seen me come and go so many times. One of them was struck by lightening a couple of weeks ago – middle of the night, split down the middle. My parents were lucky it didn’t come through the roof into their bed. Sadly, they had to have the whole thing taken down. When we arrived yesterday afternoon, I went to see the stump myself. And what I saw was this: a cross-section revealed in its rings, a record of passages, a moment of time exposed, still turning in its stillness.

4 thoughts on “Cross-Section

  1. Rowena says:

    I totally know what you mean, and sometimes we get constipated.

    The tree rings are a lovely image. The passage of time made solid, and not human either.


  2. Bruno LoGreco says:

    I could see the rings in the tree – I feel the stillness of time – I bet you could sit still feel all the memories of the house.

    Happy Friday!


  3. Mary P Jones (MPJ) says:

    Don’t you love it when those metaphors drop ready made into your life. Those visits back home are always intense for me, when who I am and who I was come together in a new moment in time…


  4. Beth P says:

    Hi Jena–
    Lovely thing, this post. It would have made a remarkable submission to the ‘where’s home’ exercise…

    I especially liked the way you talked a couple of times about how we find/lose/find self in relation to home. And I wonder if that has anything to do with the size of the rings–larger for the finding parts (lots of water, sun and birds nesting), smaller for the losing parts (drought, fire and pestilence).

    Love what you’re doing here, Jena–you have great friends too!



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