Now What?

by

So, this whole “holding space” thing is starting to make me wonder, what for?

What am I holding space for, or whom?

I turned down a nanny gig for tomorrow.

I turned down a house sitting gig for this weekend.

I don’t have plans people.

I have three days off, three days into the six-day staycation.

I have a lot of “selfie” photographs from the beach.

I have slept well.

I have cried a little and drank a lot of coffee.

A lot.

I am like a recreational coffee drinker.

Sure, I’ll have a cup.

In fact, I had two tonight after the six o’clock point, which is so rare as to be a phenomenon of sorts for me.  I might be up to go clubbing, hit me if you want to go dancing, I am jacked up.

Unlike the fellow comatose friends who I just recently left.

I just got in from Marin.

From a house full of people I did not know.

But with a standing offer to come back anytime.

I think I got along well.

No doubt that my friend’s friends were going to be good people.

And they were and it was really nice to be a part of a gathering, to help out here and there, to chase the two-year old around the living room and snuggle with the dog.  To talk with the mom who is expecting and the dad who had the worst best holiday sweater that promptly came out once the dessert was being served.  To help wash dishes and to smell the smells of Thanksgiving.

And actually watch some football.

“Why are you crying?” My friend Wilmein asked me last year in my French class in Paris.

I was looking out the plate-glass windows at the mottled dark sky leaking rain, the inside of the windows starting to steam from the bodies in the class room, and the various voices, German, Japanese, South African, South American, and me the American, practicing our “futbal” excercise.

I had been struck by the worst homesickness I have ever had on Thanksgiving last year in Paris.  I had just been in the class room a couple of weeks and had already been making friends and Wilmein was such a pumpkin.

“It’s Thanksgiving,” I whispered under my breath, “I, I am supposed to be home watching football and eating too much pie.”

Although I had done neither of those things in years, that was what I was supposed to be doing, not studying a soccer composition for a rhetoric lesson in French.

“What is Thanksgiving?” Wilmein asked.

Jesus.

Of course, like they celebrate an American holiday in South Africa.

I told her.

“Oh!  You’re homesick!”  She said it sweetly and patted my arm.

Indeed.

I was.

I was not tonight.

I was a little uncomfortable every now and again, but for the most part, I felt quite warmly welcomed and it was nice to be in a group of people celebrating their friendships and connections, listening to stories, though not mine, still stories, of home, and I like me a good story.

I like to tell myself some “good” stories too.

That I am alone or unwanted or not loved.

Such bullshit.

I am loved.

I love, there for I am loved.

I had wonderful texts and messages and phone calls all day today.

I got to talk with my mom for a little while, I sent my little sister a message, my grandmother, my aunts, I got phone calls from dear friends, and I got to spend some time down at the beach walking in the tides.

The waves so mighty and gigantic, I saw very few surfers and it was wild.

The sun was warm and I felt really blessed to be down walking the shore and listening to the lull of the waves.

My brain said I was alone.

But my heart said, no, you are confusing “alone” with “lonely”.

Yes, you are alone, but you are not lonely.

I had the song of the sea and the memories of past Thanksgivings keeping me company on the shore.  I had the love of friends old and new reminding me that I was thought of and often.  I had my own good company and that of the wind and the ravens on wing in the warm air.

I didn’t really feel alone.

And I didn’t feel homesick.

I felt at home.

I can be an isolated person and I work at rectifying that, but sometimes the deep serenity of being on the beach is a kind of company that I have only experienced by myself.

Sure.

When I saw couples walking on the beach holding hands I wanted that too, still do.

It is a bonfire scented night, the skies are clear, I have the next three days off, I want to walk on the beach and hold someones hand and be kissed under the stars.

I am a romantic at heart, in nature, and that is a want.

But it is not a requirement to having a deep and meaningful relationship with my community, my fellows, my friends, and frankly, with myself, or my home.

Or my city.

Seeing San Francisco lit up like a Christmas ornament tossed down from the heavens as we crossed back from Marin through the Golden Gates, I was so enthralled with her beauty and so grateful that I was home, again, here, now, not saying good-bye, but rather a new hello, a new experience, a new kind of life here in this city which I continue to get to live in, be captivated by, and romanced.

I was deeply thankful.

I am grateful for many things.

Not the least of all the time that I have over the next few days to continue my homecoming.

That’s what this Thanksgiving feels like to me, a homecoming.

I am home.

This is it.

From one side of the city with the Embarcadero One light up with Christmas lights to Ocean Beach with Orion rising over the black waters, shimmering luminous above me.

This is where I am meant to be and this is where I shall stay.

I have meaning.

Here, most of all.

I belong.

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