nine months one week

nine months, one week
I can’t help but to mark my life by
the days that pass by without you here
tonight I cooked dinner
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cooked dinner since you left
I used to love to cook,
I’d research recipes for hours
I’d cook new things every week
I’d listen to music and sing while I
chopped onions, listen to stories and
sermons while I sautéed
And when you left, I stopped really
not intentionally
It just kind of happened

In the months right after
I gave away nearly all of my stuff
sold my home
started out on what I tried to claim as
adventure, wanted to fully live in every
moment, yet for so many of those
moments, I didn’t want to live at all
After a slew of events both good
and very bad
I am here
in our new apartment
and I cooked dinner
on my own, while I listened to voices
that encouraged me
to both hold on and to let go
The skin on my hands grew tight from
the butternut squash,
my senses grew alive from the scent
of cayenne and turmeric
The vegetable broth splashed on my
striped shirt
and still, I cooked

The apartment is mostly empty
since I sold all of our shelving
and we don’t have a dresser yet
for our clothes
This all feels like a sort of
starting over, beginning again
yet I feel so old
exhausted and worn down but
alive somehow
I want to keep going
and I want to keep cooking
I want to be like these many
windows that let the November light in
There is such great sadness in
the people that I love and within myself
and it is in many of those I’ve
come to know
I want to believe that it is not
stealing life, that it is actually making
all things more meaningful
I have found that when I place it
in the hands of God I can see it
differently, it doesn’t make me feel it
any less but I can watch as it takes
shape into something
The days stack up and fall apart again
the work gets hard then wears thin
the seasons change then the weather stays the same
winter sun on bare branches
I am raw like them until I get leaves again
until I cook again
until I become full again

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