June 30, 2009

After the Agapanthus

My friend, a painter, blacks over his lines
and packets his pad:
"We never see a place," he says,
"Until we leave it behind." Yes,
and by then it has become someplace else.

-Nicholas Christopher, Crossing the Equator

It has been the kind of year that divides your life into a distinct before and after. On October 3rd 2008 my sister broke her neck when she hit the water beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and died.

Before, after. Before I think I know who I am. After I am like a forest burnt to the ground.

There is a scene in the film adaptation of The Hours in which Virginia Woolf's niece asks what happens after death. Virginia Woolf says, We return to the place that we came from. I am not the one who died but I am going home. In a month I leave Santa Cruz, my parents, my friends, my boyfriend, and return to my grandparents' property on Gwynn's Island, Virginia. Before I leave, and after, I am going to attempt to write something, anything down for the first time in 8 months, 27 days and I am going to share it here. I will try not to delete everything as I go.