I once heard someone speak at event who said many are called to Detroit to heal. I think this statement is true to for me at least.
At the time I was about to graduate college my sister was in and out of trouble. Every time I came home visit I had only just missed what I could have prevented, arriving to a break in minutes after, stumbling in after another episode. I couldn’t bare to be away. I thought it would get better if I stayed.
So I came home. I went to grad school. My first and very serious relationship ended. School became difficult. My first post-college job was far from fun. My sister was finally getting better, but I feared the tumult of these troubles piling on. I would count all of these difficulties in a row. It seemed nothing was right. Despite all this, I felt a strange and faint pull of a calling to stay.
I love Texas. The smooth open road feels like you are parting the sky and driving right through it. Land is stretched and hilly, but the big sky and wide road remind you that you can adventure through anything.
We had a busy two weeks in Texas. Our friend Heather married, outdoors in a park with the peacocks. It was whimsical and a bit wild. Heather was always our hilarious friend, always finding ways to take us on adventures in high school and college too. I am very glad to see she has found peace and a new home in Austin.
We traveled after to San Antonio, the city with the river loopinig through the middle. Everything was tan and orange or bright pinks and blue, colors that we don't have in the Midwest. It was a warm place with a lush and tropical Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is long and winding with hundreds of restaurants and bars. It felt alive with plants, tall palm trees hanging over the slow and steady river. There was something very charming, very calming about the city. We worked and stayed for several days.
In the moments of our greatest challenges we see who we really are becoming. Like a flower opening for one time of the year, we catch a glimpse, and we have no other choice but to be open. Life is beautiful in these moments when the true self comes out. We simply are. Whether we are ugly, strong, weak or afraid, we are our truest selves awake and aware of it.
But being in my 20s doesn’t always feel so beautiful or clear to me. It just feels challenging, exposing. It’s as if every little petal is pulled off, ripped away, and the core is exposed to something new every day. It’s like going through a second puberty. There’s a whole new life with professional work, a new culture, and family and friends a bit farther away than before. It’s up to you to stumble through it all awkwardly.
Most of our work as writers happens in the quiet spaces, sometimes dark places. Most of the impact happens there too: shifting the darkness of our readers, awakening their silences to remind, to comfort, to inspire and address the human spirit.
I wrote this piece "Christmas Lights" now featured in the latest issue of online literary magazine Lumina to help sift through the darkness of our past holiday, our first holiday together in Detroit.
It is hard for me to write about love and happiness, sometimes easier to write about it in the face of challenges. In this case, it is love in the light of death.
Read the full story here.
Photo credit: Untitled by Kate Salvi from Lumina.