Something I post, but this year it is especially meaningful. Enjoy!

The things I have carried up until now, as I stand on the cracked, red lip of another year, are in no particular order or arrangement.

I have carried one-liners, favorite quotes, scribbled bits of poetry, a note that he wrote to me when we were 15 and perfect.  I have carried pursefuls of pens.  I have carried picture frames that outline the faces of those I love most and best.

I have carried a fat cat, and an affectionate cat, and too many plants to count, all of which I tried to water regularly and most of which, eventually, sadly, leaf by browning leaf, withered and then, finally, died.  I have carried graves.  I have carried the souls of the dead.

I have carried the promises, broken and kept, of those who I loved best and most, and who loved me.  I have carried the hopes of relatives, the fear of children, the victories and defeats of my friends.

I have carried kisses and promises.  I have carried lust and shame.  I have carried emptiness.  I have carried regret. I have carried more love than I could possibly hold.

I have carried plans, candles, movies and paintings, old books and old pictures, my father’s words and my mother’s crocheting, my sense of self, my understanding of and praise for whom I am in this world…all from the warmth of my childhood home. From the love of my parents.

I have carried my stuffed mouse, Mousey, from my first bedroom, to my first apartment, to living with a man I thought would be my husband, and back to Atlanta.  He is ragged and old now, but I carry him, gently, with fondness.

I have carried my wedding band.

I have carried tall tales and secrets and the sounds you made in the morning. I have carried your kisses.

I have carried men who used me, men who loved me, men who never understood and men who understood too much, men who came in shadow, men who never came at all.

I have carried my sister, and I have let her carry me.

I have carried my heart, one beat at a time.

I have carried the whip.

I have carried this body onto a horse, into a pool, across miles of road, across mountains and oceans and on a boat.  I have carried the map I canvased along the way.

I have carried books from childhood, from college, from used bookstores in many small towns, from my parent’s shelves, from my sister’s attic, from my brother in law’s collection, from friends, from strangers, from the bum on the street, and from you.  Yes, even from you, too.

I have carried many titles—and not all justly given.

I have carried journals; I have carried many, many journals, and I have carried the stories they tell me, in my own handwriting, and I have carried disbelief, horror, joy, and pride for the person I read about as I flip the pages.  Those, too—those pages, those stories—yes, I carried them.

I have carried every single one of our conversations.

Lately, though, I have carried on, without carrying you. I have carried on without your weight.

I have carried children.  I have carried heartbreak.  I have carried my friends’ and my sisters’ tears.  I have carried hope.

I have carried a great many things.

And still…still, my arms, my heart, are not full.

Because all I have carried cannot, will not, should not, stay with me.

And because, mostly because, all because:  I have carried the letting go, too.  And it is the letting go that will carry me forward.

Speak to me

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