There are bruises on my thigh. They’re from an evening over a week ago, injuries I don’t remember happening. I found them on a Sunday morning and wondered how bruises from someone else’s battle could be on my skin. One looks like the continent of Asia, the other, a lone island, sinking downward, toward my knee. It’s been over a week and I wonder when they’ll heal.
It’s the lion’s end of March. Last night, I dreamt of a monster, growing under my skin, pushing up beneath the roses on my bicep, tiny teeth and twists of vines, growing from my ink.
It’s the trickster month. One day, you can walk for miles in the sun and convince yourself that you’re finally through it, that this soggy earth and these brown puddles, they are the beginning of something new. The next, you realize you are still here, watching the snow from your window as cars slide over highways and guardrails are crashed through and the news tells you to stay in, to stay safe.
It’s cabin fever. I run in place while I edit pictures, while I write, while I work on websites and marketing materials. I stretch between piles of laundry, nose to nose with my dog, on my bedroom floor. I hold plank for longer and longer. I breathe. I work out. I wash laundry that I won’t fold, but will run up and down the stairs and reload the washer. I play rummy with my daughter and she asks me to sit still, to not jog at the table. She’s patient when my phone vibrates and she loses me for thirty-second pockets of time. How many times have I apologized now? For being distracted. For being here and then not. All of this weight, this energy, it is bad for cards, it’s bad for motherhood. So, I sit. I play. I push the phone away, but still, feel the vibrations on my wrist.
I prayed last night, between sleep and wake. Between the dream of monsters rising from my arm and the rolling over of my body, the touching of my hand to Vinnie’s shoulder, I felt weight. I felt the words of so many stories I haven’t written, and some that I have – all cupped in my palms. I’ve been gathering them, holding them, keeping the narrators safe.
I’m praying for the something new. For my hands to open. For the weight to slide through my fingers like sand. For stories to run their course and books to be closed or shelved or burned. I’m praying for the lamb to come and for March to be neatly put to bed.
And for sweeter dreams to roll in with the clouds of April and lull me to rest in their showers.
Yeah, sometimes the best thing about March is that it’s not February. But I’ll take it.