And So It Is

My heart is so full . . . I sometimes awake at night to find it fervently pounding my chest, a deranged prisoner. At 1 a.m., my eyes fly open. There’s a cat purring, kneading me. I push him away and tiptoe to the bathroom. My skin tingles – the AC is low – my thick comforter, pillows and purring furry water bottles have numbed me to the faux frigidness – and the sound of my feet on the floor is eerie, softly echoing . . .

A fiery ball of anguish settles deep in the pit of – where? My stomach? My chest, along with my crazy heart? It boils there, pulsing, molten, insufferable. How many times are you going to set yourself up like this? How many chances can you take? How many risks? You can rest assured that, during my waking hours, I do not argue with my ambition, motivation, capacity to freefall, propensity to love, or any number of tendencies that are pulling away my skin from the inside. Yet in this cold, dark space, where no one sees or knows me, I ask. I continue to ask. And I am repeatedly unable to answer.

As I once wrote, long ago: I am, above all things, a restless soul. I am not the one who chose the easy path. I am not the one who settled for simplicity. I am the one who saw what could be and not what was. I was not unaware of the potential sorrow in my choice. And yet it was a choice I made. A choice I made because I was determined to live wildly, blindly, recklessly in the moment. Perhaps I will never know why I always make the choice that brings greater joy – the same choice that usually promises the least longevity. Maybe I am all too aware of my own fragility.

I wash my hands, return to bed, unable to find rest. Even my sound machine and sleep mask fail to comfort me. My heart is too full. My heart is too empty. — Meggan Ann Johnson
Copyright Meggan Ann Johnson 2006
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