Work in progress: I see islands

by Alexis

If you are wondering what this work in progress business is all about, take a peek at my last post, where I give a little explanation. Then come back here, ok? xo

I see islands when I close my eyes and when I am waking up, like a secret message, one that I can barely hear. We’re our own little islands, little ecosystems, but we send out boats, to gather and deliver, and see what discoveries have been made. My small island is floating, through water, behind my eyes, as I begin to anchor it back to the shore we share, to anchor myself back to a shared safe place. Some days I don’t want to leave the island. Some days I do.

We’re our own little islands, small land masses, bumping into each other’s shores. Sometimes we come very close, so we appear to have formed a new continent.

This image, of islands, helps me to understand who I am without my body.

Sometimes there is a log jam of islands, and we love that or we hate it, and we push off, and away, to find some quiet. On my island, I’m floating out at sea, bumping into the other islands some days. I’m setting sail for your island to drink coffee where the water meets your shore, because I’m hungry for more than my own thoughts and words. Some days what I need is to hear someone else’s breath. The smell of another human and a “yes, I know what you mean” from their lips is a piece of magic, is a whole wrapped gift. That smell and those words can feel like home, a place where I want to live, or at least rest for a while.

I suspect that the more I love my own island, the more I can love yours. There’s enough to go around, I’m learning. The more time I want to spend on this island, sitting in the grass, and staring out to sea and wondering and remembering, the more strength I have to listen when I set sail again, when I’m sitting on your shore. The more energy I have when we’re all bumping up against each other’s island, when we’re sending our boats out, when we’re discovering how far we can sail away and still find our way back.

If it looks like your island is on fire, and you’re throwing everything into the water, including yourself, I want to be able to see you, and I want you to feel seen. I’ve been there, and I know a distress sign when I see one. I would send a boat out, just in case. You don’t need to jump in, especially if you have more burning bits to chuck into the sea. Sometimes we need to let it all burn down, to clean off the island. Maybe we go to the edge for a bit, while the interior forests smolder and the beasts who call this island home, nurse their wounds. Even if I can’t put the fire out, maybe you can see that, in this moment, I have mine contained to just one candle. I keep it at the center of my kitchen table, so that I can see, and remember fires I’ve had.

These fires and these small islands, they look different from person to person, and they change. I close my eyes and feel safe, like my island is wrapping up around me. I love this body of mine, I really do, but sometimes it needs to be still, and I need to escape to my island, to check the fires, pet the beasts, to ready myself, for you and for me.

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