Friday, March 13, 2015

My Time in the CATskills (HAH! Get it?...Just me, huh..)

A day after I'd returned from the open, snow-kissed upstate to my half-a-room in New York City, my clothing still smelled like the crackling fireplace in the luxury cabin. Tinder and sparks filled my nostrils with every deep breath in.
I didn't have time to clean my clothes right away, and, to be honest, I didn't want to.
Oh, shutup 
The smell made me close to that ethereal upstate experience. It was like the spirits in the Catskills had followed me home, but would retreat the second the smell dissipated. And I didn't want them to go away. I didn't want to be awoken from the feeling of perfect stillness. Perfect calm.
So I gripped the satisfying, sensational perfection that came with getting away. There was a calmness that cleansed me as the snowflakes floated to my face in the mountains. A calmness that disappeared when I got back in the city. I felt further away from the people, every person, I'd spent that weekend with. From the people with whom I'd been drinking and dancing and talking and floating around in a hot tub not 24 hours earlier.

Once my body settled back into the city life, my doubts returned. My regimen resurfaced. But, the smell remained and the spirits held fast.

And I didn't know how I could possible fall back into routine.
How does one go back to normal after being touched by magic?

I was expected to go from trailing up an icy hill to look out at the night-clad mountains, mushroom-shaped light held tightly in my fist, to bustling past strangers by the Hudson River on my way to work. To go from nighttime conversations and sleeping a mere few feet away from someone to not knowing when I'd see, when I'd truly SEE, that person again (although, they're probably okay with it.)

To go from dancing to guilty pleasure songs in a wide open cabin living room to sitting on a chair at home, watching Netflix alone. To sink back into technology from a realm that didn't have cell phone service. From looking straight into someone's eyes and showing that person a deep, vulnerable, emotional wound, to interacting with that person mainly through text message.

It was jarring how quickly things were supposed to return to normal. It made me question the entire weekend. It made me wonder what of it was real, and what I was romanticizing from select memories.

It sent me reeling into uncertainty. Into instability. Into a mental battle, pitting my New York City state of mind brain against what I felt in the mountains.

But then I remembered. I'm a writer. I write things down. I carry around four separate notebooks for business, freewriting, book writing, and baking. A lot of what my pen produces is complete drivel, but maybe this time...

I pulled out my freewrite notebook. I flipped to the most recent entry, labeled 'It Was Real.' My eyes skimmed the small, looped pencil letters trailing down the lines, onto the next page. I had written it at the cabin, the morning of the day we left, almost as if I knew I'd be experiencing uncertainty upon my return. The entry detailed something about my thought processes that I learned the night before. Something important. It realized the fears I struggled with concerning personal relationships, and how those fears intensify. And how I cope. It described the peace I felt among the trees and snow. How I wanted to turn the whole experience into a fantastical, magical story. And, then, how I realized that the experience itself was that story. And it ends - "The person who brought me here is perfect. These people surrounding me, trailing around the cabin in an effort to retrieve all our things, are perfect. I am perfect."

So, I washed my clothes.

Because I'm a writer, because I'm a creator, I know now that the spirits from the mountains cannot leave. They've inserted themselves into my bloodstream, as pieces of my heart, and they're there to stay.

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