27 June 2008

First, an introduction

I am Sable Crow, and I shall begin at the beginning.

Ten years ago, I was studying creative writing at USC. Times were good: my professors spoke highly of my talent, I imagined a bright and creative career, and I was in love. I still remember the day he came over, it was a Sunday in May, ten years ago last month. The golden afternoon light poured in the western-facing windows of my small studio, expanding it beyond its humble white walls. I was sitting on the floor, and he touched my shoulder. I was happy when he said my name.

When I looked over to him, he said: "I don't love you anymore. I'm not sure I ever did." I think we all ask questions at times like that. I know I did. But there were no answers. He left a few minutes later.

Hours passed. The sun had set, and I had not moved from the floor. Between sobs, I made a promise: If this was how the world worked, I would accept, and I would never write again.

I remember that moment so clearly; the same way I remember car accidents or where I was when the towers fell. It has that same quality of memory. I looked down at the gaping hole in my chest, and pulled out the part of me I loved most. I placed it cooly on the floor of that dingy studio, and left it there in the gathering gloom. Something beyond my comprehension had occurred, and I struggled to make sense of it. It was the only kind of suicide I could muster. It would have to do.

I painted for a while--dark, brooding nightmares in black and red, peeled flesh and gaping mouths. They were lovely. I framed them in gold and hung them all around me. I got an internship at a brokerage house, and thought, I could do this. I finished my degree, and told my stunned professors that I was going to work on Wall Street. I was not unhappy.

Years passed. I had--and lost--other loves. I had run-ins with the One Who'd Left. I had become very successful at my career, and imagined a new life that did not include writing. Friends encouraged me to write; I would smile, pull my Armani suit coat a little closer, say something polite and think, No fucking way. There have been Halloweens, and suntans, and friends' weddings, and lots of laughter. Over time, I healed as best I could--not from any wound he'd inflicted, but from the deeper betrayal: that the world gives us what it gives us, and that it mixes ghastly wounds with glorious treasure.

I know what changed, but I don't want to admit it, for fear that you'll judge me: I broke my heart again. It wasn't a long relationship, but it was enough.

Aha! you say, I know what he'll do! He'll throw another decade-long tantrum!

Only this time, I didn't. Instead, I went within, and found the thing I feared, and I grabbed on to its fiery horns for dear life to drag it into the light.

From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I battled my demon. I reestablished contact with the One Who'd Left, and found we'd both changed. He couldn't hurt me anymore. I was still beautiful in his eyes. Our meeting completed old karma, and I began to wonder what that would mean for my old vow.

I found healers of the first order on a weekend retreat recently. It was terrifying, and I was reborn, filled with light in places that had been dark for years. I am strong, and happy, and whole. Radiant.

That sounds funny, looking at it. So cliche. But the possibility is real, and I experienced it then. A scene from a movie kept running through my head as I struggled to describe the shift to my friends:

Fortunately, they didn't need much explanation. They can see the change. I can feel it. That you are reading this now means the change is irrevocable.

So this is how I got to where I am: 1am and writing. Breaking old vows and wondering what the future will bring. I write. I shine light into dark places, and I wonder if the things I find there look like the things other people find within. Do they?


Diabolina said...

your beautiful words, your glorious gift, this writing, this beginning fill the dark places of my current state with light. For that I thank you.

For the last 13 years of friendship, I have seen you, really seen you, despite your efforts to cloak your light. And so today a new day dawns, when you SHOW me what I have always known was there.

i kiss u.

WeezerMonkey said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! I met you briefly at Mr. Diabolina's Donkey Kong B-Day Party. I followed a link off D's page to you. :)

Tam Pham said...

your writing is quite stunning.

Rachel said...

wow, I think I'm in love ;)

Jean Bean said...

YAY, YAY, a thousand times YAY! I love that you and Diabolina and I are all using our Halloween photos right now!

Sable Crow said...


I love you! The plan right now is to write weekly. Maybe more often, but you gotta start slow.

It's like--well, it's like something that you gotta start slow or it's painful and not fun.

I'm just sayin'.