Photo by Jazzmin Awa-Williams
Listen for the whir of tires.
Any time I back out of my parents’ driveway, that is what I do. I listen for the whir of tires. With blind spots in both directions, the only way to know if a car is coming down the road is to turn the radio down and listen for the whir of tires.
I want to collect the past three months and put them into words, but those words aren’t coming easily. I want to do the thing that feels most natural to me–wrangle the emotional cyclones and personal shifts that have been whipping around and turn them into verses. But I am not quite sure how to distill everything from this past season into a brew of letters and words. I am not quite certain how to tell you that right around the time the cherry blossoms began to bloom, my world elevated. Things changed. Layers shed. Old paths gave way to new galaxies. Prayers I never thought to utter were answered.
Yes, I want to collect the past three months, bottle them up, and uncork that bottle with prose and paragraphs and poetry. I want to walk you through the maze of emotions I’ve felt and experiences I’ve had, a maze I believe explains why I’ve spent much more time in my head than on the page. I want to tell you that many days, I still hold my breath when things seem too good to be true. I still wait for the ground to move beneath my feet. I still do the mental math of all of the dreadful things I’ve done and wonder when my good fortune will expire. I still know how cyclical and seasonal life is, and I struggle with the fine line between embracing my blessings and waiting to exhale.
But the words do not come as easily anymore. They do not always arrive at 7 p.m. when I sit down with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. I can’t squeeze them out the way I once did. The experiences want to linger much longer. The words want to play and dance in my mind much more. And those words often times arrive at inconvenient hours, like 12:50 a.m. when I should have been in bed two hours before. The words are stubborn now; they want to wait to land thunderingly in the ink of book 2. The words don’t always want to get dropped off into an Internet abyss, a place that doesn’t feel like home as much as the crisp pages of a memoir.
Evolution is a fragile thing. A complex thing. A dense thing. Evolution is a knotted thing, not easy to photograph or document or, in this case, wrangle into words. Evolution is not pronounced or easily predicted. Sometimes it is the kind of thing you only notice once you are en route to the next place, glancing into your rearview mirror and realizing just how much the town behind you has changed.
But, if you listen for the whir of tires, sometimes, you know an evolution’s coming. You hear it, first from afar and then up close.
I did not always listen for the whir of those tires. But, they are within earshot now.