Smoking and Soaking with Neil deGrasse Tyson

I just finished episode four of the new Cosmos. I can’t help watching this show and feeling like it’s a new layer in my spiral of healing in regard to the church, like when I discovered Penn and Teller. So many bigger patterns are starting to become clear as my life warps this month…

I keep repeating to myself that there’s no shame in executing a well-planned retreat. An actual veteran told me that, so I really should pay attention. But all I see is failure, failure, failure. I’m so critically important in my own head that this temporary life shift must change everything about life AS WE KNOW IT! Thankfully, I am not that important in reality. I’ll just take another hit and let Neil tell me all about how seeing the stars means I’m a freaking time traveler.

I think of Stan Gold in the fall. I think it is because that was when he broke his shoulder, and I stayed with him for a week or so, the year I started high school. I think of Karen in the summer and Stan in the fall.

I’m glad I’m still in Denver for the fall. Matt took me to see the aspen trees, and it was amazing. After sunset but before the stars came out, we climbed up some rocks and sat on the edge of the mountains I’ve finally set as “west” on my internal compass. I felt brave. I remember being at church camp that first year and being terrified of the climbing wall. Even in Costa Rica I got assistance on one of the zip lines. But I went on the rocks, and sat cross-legged out enough so that when I looked down, I was slightly nervous. Then I looked out, and up, which are the only directions I need right now. I’m not going to spend more time than needed looking down.

Matt sat next to me on the rocks. We didn’t talk for a short while, that sort of comfortable silence. We’ve hit that truly pleasant stride in our relationship where the honeymoon period is over, and the bickering-because-the-honeymoon-is-over is over, and now we’re comfortable and deepening things that we know work. If we’re going to leave things on good terms, this is a great place to hit pause. And coming back to Denver is the plan.

Why come back to Denver? I know Stephie will be asking it, and so many folks at home and here have been asking it, so I’ve started to get some good answers phrased. I’m growing here. In areas that I had trouble with at home. I love my home. New Orleans remains to be one of the greatest love affairs of my life. But, if you’ve ever loved a bipolar or lusty or alcoholic woman, you may already know that she can be a handful. It’s a commitment to be home, and I’m not ready. I can’t be tied down yet. I have too much life to live, and while my 8 years healing in NOLA shaped me, the goal was to get healthy enough to go adventuring. I wanna go outside and play! The world is too wide for me to stay in my fence.

Home will still be there; that’s how you know it’s home.

So while I will be going back to my muddy waters, I hope it is for a short spell. I will nuzzle into my waffle shirt from 2004, and let my family of friends comfort me back to confidence. As all of this has come to pass, I am reminded at how many amazing folks I have been blessed with, at home and here in Denver. I’m going to pull out my Rainy Day Book and let your soothing words and support carry me through. I can allow and accept help from people who love me.

Lots of changes are coming, and it’ll be ok. I can sit on the edge of the world and look out, listening for wild animals calling to their instincts. I can follow my instincts. I’m not alone, and there is safety in silence. I can see and hear what surrounds me, and I’m at home in my skin. I’m always safe in my home.

I’m a long way from this time last year. I’ll be leaving Denver almost one year exactly from when I arrived. Almost everything about my world last year was different. It’s mind boggling, really, to think that last year I was collared to Steve, and we had just signed a lease together until Feb 2014. I thought that I would marry that boy…it’s been a really eventful year. I’m so glad it all turned out the way it did, except for maybe this last part. That probably means I’m being short-sighted about this last part…

Time to get to my bath. I’m trying to use all the epic bath goodies Ave got me before I leave town. And who knows what Neil is gonna teach me next? Probably something to make me question how so many adults squashed my curiosity by praising my piousness, when there were answers out there. If they didn’t know, they could have just said they didn’t know…but then I remember how much I thought I knew, and I don’t think it was malicious. But goddamn is it sad.

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