Gaspesie: Breathing Back
Time just flew out of my head. For months, projects after projects have kept me on the edge, taking care of decisions, marking the path ahead. Then it all disappeared in a flash. Two tendons ruptured and a surgery later, I was stopped, left floating in my own head. Pain and anger, caught inside, unable and afraid.
Surgery robs, but time gives back. You have to let healing do its slowly trick. It works. It looks so fast when you've done it, when you look behind, but it takes so long when you're in it. Every day grinds by painfully, until days become weeks and you fill like you've reached the top of the hill. It works, but it messes your mind and, worse, your habits.
The process took its toll. I was watching summer pass me by and felt the pang. I missed events, opportunities, had to cancel trips. It wasn't easy and it all felt like a stack of little deaths. But that's not the message, the thing to keep in mind. The message is that it ends and that you have to plan for it. Life comes back, unless you get used to death. For me, salvation came from a trip to Gaspesie, a trip planned in the wake of the surgery.
Time slowed down outside of the daily mundane, into the extraordinary mundane. Simple stuff, all of it, family, love, fresh air, fish, games, cleaning the table, but filled with a different inner peace.
The big cities, they too take their toll, and it's hard to notice when you're in the midst of it. You need to be out to see it for what it is, like tasting a cigarette after having stopped for a month. A compromise.
Landing back from vacation can be hard at times. This was one of the hardest for me. The easy reasons are that I had a great time, that it made me forget my current challenges, and that it was just long enough so that I did not get used to it. The hard reason is that I'm coming back to uncertainty, to the great question: "What next?" When we try something different, it is impossible to just go back to the same Before. We're not the same. So yeah, I'm wondering what next, which is great.
Note: This piece is inspired by the work of writers and photographers from the KAGE Collective, more particularly the work of Patrick Laroque. As I see things, it is a first step; a clumsy personal pastiche. I am grateful to them for showing me a way forward.