II / by Christina Osheim

Today is 11 months of sobriety. Wow. I can and cannot believe it. Somehow I am feeling this as a reality or my reality more today than past months. Perhaps it is the II- symmetric parallel lines that peak my interest. It makes me think of a poem Rita wrote for us in elementary school about turning 11.

I am going to try to find that and post it here, but 5 minutes of googling on my phone was to no avail. 

I have it now! And it makes me happier than I can write:

For the Fifth Grade Graduating Class at Greer Elementary

 

Charlottesville, Virginia

June 15, 1994

11

The first number

to repeat itself,

this eleven's

a stutterer:

so many sounds, so little

opportunity.

One year short of the age

of reason.  One year

before we hold you responsible

for every stomp, pout,

snort and hrumpf.

One year until you begin

sighing.

You have the basics:

one and zero. 

All the rest is

addition

and knowing how to hold

your place. 

Now I see I was wrong

about that stuttering business.  And

1 + 1 =

not 2

but

11,

your age,

the first number

able to stand on its own

two feet.

--  Rita Dove

What I recall was that the poem touched on the joy and wonder of transitioning. The only time in our life that we had those parallel lines, the symmetry, meaning that from this equilibrium we begin to shift and curve and change and adapt. We become fluid and bend those lines to fit the life and character we build for ourselves.

That is what I am feeling today. There is a gravitas, but also a joy! A disbelief. Or non belief? Looking at my life and the cause and effects that led to the choices resulting in severe addiction.  

I remember reading the unbearable lightness of being when a senior in college and how much that book and its dochotomies helped put words to things I was feeling and didnt know how to express.  

How really, perhaps that is the key: my inability to verbally express what was going on in my psyche made art, specifically clay the medium I could use to translate my exploratiom. And that it is art and making I still use to explore and express to the world thoughts and feelings and dualities I can express no other way.

A good friend who lives across the country had to put down her cat this past week. And is mourning. When she reached out to me I dont have the verbal platitudes to deal with what shes feeling, I just wish i could sit with her. Just sit and be quiet. So I sent her one of Karens paintings from The Odyssey.

Visually that is how I am feeling a dying and an awakening and an exploration.

I dont know where the future is going to take me, but I know it will be somewhere. And that it will be better because of the work I have done and will continue to do.

xoxoxo world. Thanks for sticking by me.

IMG_0621.JPG