Letter To You
Sunday morning, I’m waking slowly. My brain ahead of my body which is feeling heavier than usual against the mattress. I can't quite gather if it’s because of the one extra Saturday night beer or the melatonin gummy my husband gave me as we settled under blankets with our books and phones.. but I know I don't feel ready to face this day yet. I am awake but unmoved to move. I consider going back to sleep.. back into the weirdo dreams I’ve been having lately, but then I hear the bedroom door open and I know it's Serge and I know he is about to deliver to me coffee in bed. I don’t move, still unwilling to open my eyes even though what I really want to do is smile big at him, my guy.. no morning mouth, my hair falling down around my shoulders in that just perfectly imperfect bedhead kind of way, pajamas magically untwisted, eyes wide and clear.. all as I sit up to greet him and he places the cup in my greedy, outstretched hand. I want to say thank you while also acknowledging without words, telepathically from me to him, the ten thousand reasons I appreciate him for so much more than just this fresh, hot (but not too hot) black coffee as I’m bringing it up to my lips for that first hit. But, no. He drops it down quietly on my nightstand and goes back around to his side of the bed and settles back in. I sense him pick up his laptop and I know he is going straight and hard back into his Civil War/118th research.
Today I find myself deep into my 30's and I still have a hard time believing that. How I got here so fast. As most any fluid/flexible/open minded person may experience life, I'm still trying to figure out who TF I am, which doesn’t feel very ‘adult’ to me. Trying to make sense of all space, time and existence and hanging on to it forever is like trying to catch the wind I guess. But I figure that's how it should be. Vulnerable and wide open and accepting of change and the inability to control much. I have realized I don’t ever want to settle on any particular version of myself. They all matter and they all come and go and I have to let them. Sometimes it’s against my will and wishes as I push another one out there into the water, lovingly wrapped and strapped to that boat on fire for their beautiful Viking send off, the sun setting on another ghost of myself. So, today, after being inspired by a newer Springsteen album a little over a year ago and being unable to get the concept of a particular song out of my head (even though after hearing interviews with Bruce, my interpretation of the song wasn’t what he was talking about at all, which is fine..), 2 months ago I created this space/stage to make something happen. Today is the day I start to try and unravel it all.
Today, today, today.
I'm living here in a small-ass town in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, not very far from the small-ass town where I was born. I’ve walked the earth at least a bit between then and now, but here I am, returned on the edge of some sort of giant, invisible boomerang. Central PA to the bone. And I love it here. To say I’m living my best life with the truest person I’ve ever known and our combination of 5 incredibly cool kids might sound cliche but it’s also an understatement.
I finally manage to start to stir. It takes a while but I roll over and sneak a glance at Serge to confirm my suspicion about the Civil War rabbit hole I figured he was currently living in. I was right. He stops and says good morning to me, and I smile but I do, in fact, have the terrible morning mouth, my hair is in knots and mostly on the opposite side of where it ought to be, my shirt twisted around me tight and my eyes squinted hard as they ease into the light of day.. I say good morning in my groggy half-english and he understands and smiles back.
He says, I like the way you look in the morning.
I laugh, bury my face back down into the pillow close to him and I brush off the compliment and start to deny it as truth.
It’s reminds me of what CollegeArle must’ve been like.
He means it and that means everything.
Also, he’s not wrong, I’m notoriously and admittedly bad at mornings.. since forever. However, since having kids and early morning jobs and a husband who is a real morning person-person, I’ve at least adapted to faking my way through mornings with a good attitude. Coffee is key.
So, now I’m beaming as he brings CollegeArle back from the dead for me, only for a moment. He sees her ghost with me. I loved her, in all her flawed glory. And I thank CollegeArle for being one of the many forms I’ve taken to help shape me into the person I am today.
Birth, death, rebirth. Over and over again in one lifetime.
Hi there, I hope you are well and I’m looking forward to maybe getting to know you. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing here just yet but I know at least part of it has to do with human connection so it would mean a lot if you stuck around and occasionally make yourself known while I figure it out.
I don't have any real goals with this newsletter. I lost my job on the crest of the Covid wave and have struggled at times with where I'm supposed to land after that. Still. In hindsight, losing that job was a major blessing for a variety of reasons. And don’t get me wrong, I’m doing fine. I've had the opportunity to explore lots of cool things since. I’ve got a cool job that offers more flexibility and is less stressful by far. I've been able to enjoy my family in ways I wasn't able to before. Spent time with friends. I’ve been able to be more active/go to the gym/play softball. I've created more artwork than I have in a long time (But still wish it was more). And this, I have had the time to start writing again. I’m no professional but I’ve spent time writing throughout my life and it always leaves me feeling damn good. So, I consider this simply a place to keep a few of my stories and say my piece and maybe - most importantly, to leave behind some, I don’t know.. 'love letters'? Left ripe for future discovery by the few who might wonder about me when I'm old and different than I am now. Or even gone from this world. Is that morbid or sweet? I'm not sure. EmoGoth.
If I can be completely honest with you here, I'll tell you straight up, I’ll never be able to commit to weekly or even monthly posts. I mean, probably at least monthly, however, I'm not making any promises. But listen, this newsletter is free as fuck so I hope you'll consider signing up and that you’ll get at least a little excited when they randomly pop up in your inbox. I'd really dig that.
Anyway, I'm glad you're here. Take care.
'Neath a crown of mongrel trees
I pulled that bothersome thread
Got down on my knees
Grabbed my pen and bowed my head
Tried to summon all that my heart finds true
And send it in my letter to you
Things I found out through hard times and good
I wrote 'em all out in ink and blood
Dug deep in my soul and signed my name true
And sent it in my letter to you
In my letter to you
I took all my fears and doubts
In my letter to you
All the hard things I found out
In my letter to you
All that I've found true
And I sent it in my letter to you
I took all the sunshine and rain
All my happiness and all my pain
The dark evening stars
And the morning sky of blue
And I sent it in my letter to you
-Letter To You, Bruce Springsteen
Photos: Arle Bielanko
Buy me a beer? / Venmo : @gnarleart