Wanting to dream / by Christina Rosalie

My eyes ache tonight, from crying and laughing both, and I’m on the verge of being sick. I spent the weekend away with a close friend, talking over sushi and Japanese beer, about the way things really are. How everything in my life right now is like a delicate broken china cup, held together with dime store glue, and the tea is very hot.

We went rock climbing. I haven’t climbed since before I was pregnant, and my mind and body marveled at the sudden feeling vertical; instinct sending rapid telegraphs along tendons, muscles quivering. My heart thrumming in my chest, chalk on my palms, and then swinging out into open space at the top of the wall before the belay down. It felt good to simply say, I don’t know. And also to say my heart is breaking, but that I’m hopeful. Very hopeful.

Because this is true. I am. And I have reason to be. We’re talking now, daily, and part of what we’re talking about is what really matters. Sometimes it feels a bit like walking through the odds and ends of furniture and relics in an antique store looking for a particular set of silver spoons, but we’re finding things we didn’t know we wanted or cared about at all.

And it’s hard to say what it is we really want. We thought this was it: on this land, in this house, but somehow we’re drowning here. Debt swallowing up our love, and our freedom both. And also, because though we dreamed of this: mossy wooded trails and apple trees and kind neighbors, we never thought to ask ourselves when we wanted this, and what else we really wanted in our lives.

So we’re starting over, and asking this: what really matters? And our answers shock us both. To see the night sky in Australia. To bike together across Europe. To travel through the west with Bean and hike the mountains there. To shout out into the vast space of the Grand Canyon. To work on a coffee plantation in Central America. To spend a month on a sailboat. To teach in a foreign country. To have another child. To write. To publish. To live a life rich with experience.

Startled, we look at each other from opposite ends of the couch. Maybe we want more than this, here, right now. Maybe we need more, to keep us whole.

And also, when I came back after a night away, hugging him, pressing my head into his chest in that place right under the curve of his chin, I felt like I was home.