So here I am sitting on my bed trying to use quantum physics and astronomy to cope with grief, that I couldn’t have possibly lost anything or made any mistakes or have any regrets if what we have are dimensions and a parallel timeline and the other “me”s made different choices and I now travel alongside “myselves” on a different course, never crashing, not worried about the finish line, only about the vastness of space and the magnitude of light years, galaxies, constellations, a billion suns. My best friend in Rome calls me and I tell her I am hurting. It is evening over there. She says, “It’s ok you’re hurting, it means something broke. If something broke, it means it still works.”
“Well, something works all right, everything, everything still works,” I shed tears into my morning coffee. “So fix it,” she says.
And suddenly I remember. Huddled in the corner is a backpack. I put down the coffee and buy a one way ticket to walk along the Silk Road, right where it started in China. It’s amazing how much gold and silver had been traded for thread that comes out of a worm; how many lives gained and lost and transformed by commerce, faith, winds of monsoons and thirsty camels. As I plot my route, I go into caves and taverns and speak with merchants and kiss strange men who are on the same journey, for different reasons. I sit on canoes and drink in waters of rivers, touch uncut diamonds and lose oxygen in high altitudes. I plunge into prehistoric forests and dance and shoot game and rub soil on my face. I steal honey from bees because I am hungry. I will fall and die and break all over again and learn to say goodbye elegantly. I find friends and family on the streets of India, Persia, hanging off rocks with my fingers.
Like the history of mankind and the migration of peoples, we are all seeking, searching, wandering– Mongolia; Kazakhstan; Istanbul, where you cross the Bosphurus River and one minute you’re in Europe, the next—Asia. As empires rise and fall and faces launch a thousand ships, dynasties overthrown by concubines and gypsies with dreams, I will get everything stolen from me and despair once again, but out of that despair, I will suddenly remember. I will remember. Then there will be a call. And I shall come home again.
Costa Mesa, CA