On The Edge Of Change

In Southern California, we watch carefully for the subtle change in seasons—crows caw, dry leaves line the curb, and spiders politely take up residence in the corners of the room. As we transition to winter, nights are still and dark, and days can swing from blazing hot to cool and brisk. For months, I’ve been tucking myself away to heal from illness and surgery, wishing only to feel decent each day. Now that I’m halfway through recovery, I can see what I’ve been missing—people, noise, work, second chances, third chances.

I sit in a coffee shop, sometimes glancing at Miguel, a graduate student from South America. I am lonely. He has a nice face, deep voice, and a Spanish-tinged accent. I wish he’d say something softly into my ear, even a lie. I don’t really know him. He doesn’t know me. I don’t want him. I want pieces of him—his smile, his conversation, a little bit of his time. That’s as far as it goes—a few thoughts, a wave of emotion, and it passes. My days are focused on preserving my energy and resting pain free at night. I’ve learned patience, perseverance, and how to gauge the 24-hour supply of energy. A long conversation and singing along to a song on the radio drain the supply quickly!

I returned to writing this week, having given it little attention this summer. But first the critic showed up like an unexpected guest with its BFF self-doubt, a killer of the spirit when the focus is turned inward on a dark, well-worn path. It says, why bother? It doesn’t matter. Maybe not, but I’m compelled to do it. So here we are.

Now is the time for action. I wonder what I am to do, where I am to go? I’ll start by keeping things simple. Work, eat, sleep. But there’s more. If I’m a writer, I write and seek to be read. I wish to live close to work to be able to walk. Do for others and show I care. Exercise with intention. Spend more time under a canopy of trees. Even with illness, there is gratitude for today when I can rest while others have no choice but to push through. If you could peer inside, you’d see a healed heart. I think that means I’m ready.

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Marjorie Robertson

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Marjorie Robertson is a writer, teacher, and multilinguist. She writes fiction, poetry, and essays and spends a lot of time…

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