A month gone, my days have more or less returned to normal: busy, full of work and errands and chores and friends. But at night, still, when things get slow and quiet, I find myself searching for proof that someone else was in this same emotional morass before I got here, has felt this same insane mix of emotions, has made it out the other side. So I read like mad: poems, books, articles, old e-mail, past journal entries, whatever I can get my hands on.

Nothing fits perfectly. I find lines, phrases, lengths of text that brush the surface, though the perfect and relieving words I want remain elusive. The closest I've come so far is a passage from Sylvia Plath's journals, written in 1952; I found it appended to an e-mail I wrote in February 2001, during The Resistance. Plath is no relationship role model, to be sure, but there's something in her words that made sense to me then and gives some sort of odd solace now. Maybe that's good enough.

August 22, 1952
So I kiss him, and there is the great dark sea ahead, and above the sheaves of yellow stars, shoals of cold bright pieces of light, and the great wind, blowing always cold gulps and gusts of air, big and soft in the tree leaves, hushing, miracles are happening, and I, strange and elated with a new wonder, child-like in my sudden power, look with eyes large in love and amazement at this intent lovely face so earnest, so close to mine.

I cannot bear to leave you, because you will forget, I will forget, except for perhaps once or twice a brief sharp sear of pain as a word, a laugh, a thought of truth, will cut like a knife at all that will have happened after now, bringing clear and wistful to mind the remembering of these few hours, night and day--and us so young....

But of all the nights, rushing backward along the rocket-track of your experience and receding into the dark of your past subconscious, remember, remember how he trusting looked long and sweetly at you out of the dark at the door with the wild wind in the dark grasses, and how love was there in his face--making you, miraculously, the dream girl and woman, sister and sweetheart, mother and spiritual mistress. You walked in, laughing, tears, welling confused, mingling in your throat. How can you be so many women to so many people, oh you strange girl?

All the young growing and testing and being once burned and twice shy and not knowing what to do, or where, or when to be how. And then this, this sudden intuitive flash, the sudden knowing when it is right to render up a dream, to speak so, to love so. It comes ripe in you suddenly and there is the taste of wisdom, aged full and mellow-flavored. You have gotten drunk and elated on the young firm tart green of early apples, and never wanted other. But the first ripened apple breaks open its fruit on the palate, and the sweet, savory juice floods in vindication into the mouth, lyric lovely on the tongue.

Oh honey ancient gathered from the garden of rare weed and strange wild plant, years pass and you grow golden clear in the tree, shedding fragrance of wisdom upon the lovely summer air. (You have taken a drink from a wild fountain... 'and all the wells of the valley/will never seem fresh or clear/all for that drink of mountain water/in the feathery green of the year.' Not so, not so, for in parable the wells are sweet in their ripeness, and I will not cry forever, over the young wild spurting fountains--not forever.)

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