I had been captivated for months by the stories of people who just walked away from their lives. Then I became one of them.
I was talking with a friend the other day about the book Hidden Valley Road. I admitted that I sometimes feel guilty for appreciating (or in that case, raving) about such well-crafted narratives of traumatic events. How can I be enjoying reading about such difficult situations? Am I just a lout? And so here I find myself in the same situation with "When I Disappeared". How does one properly convey "What happened sucks, but damn, you hit it out of the park with the writing!"? I can say that now I'm extremely interested in Jouhatsu and the Night Movers. Those tales remind me of a certain vacuum cleaner salesman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. *Sigh* I don't know how to sign off of this comment. Everything I've come up with sounds so trite and hollow. I'll just say, I'm looking forward to reading more of your stuff... and slowly slink away.
oh my, Tonya. what a fantastic piece of writing. thank you for taking it on and with such honesty. when in my late twenties, after ten years of an unplanned marriage and two kids - I walked out the door. something, in an instant, said "time to go". we had invited people for dinner that night. go figure. it was time to go and I did.
This was a stunning piece of writing, I started saving quotes at the beginning and have a full page of words that resonated deeply in my soul. Once, post breakup, I went to church (side note: I don't go to church, not really, but that day I needed to go to church, it was a very hippie church with a pride flag outside, so I let myself slide). During the surface they sang a hymn based on words by Rumi.
“Come, come, whoever you are,
wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving,
it doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, come again, come.”
And I lost all the air in that room. That's what I was, the l.over of Leaving. I had disappeared myself so many times I feared I had forgotten how to stay. It took me a while, to find the beauty in that adopted mythology. Yes. I had left, and left and left again—but it was always in search of myself. Always making my way back to me. And I'd do it again and again to get here.
As I was reading some of my favorite words from Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology Of Water came to me:
“It’s not easy to leave one self and embrace another. Your freedoms will scar you. Maybe even kill you. Or one of your yous. Its okay though. There are more. How many times do we die? Words, like selves, are worth it.“
You managed to place me in that empty space of shock. The humanity of others recognizing what you were going through, the kindness, yes! Like walking around with an emotional white cane feeling for unknown edges. I so get it and love,love,love. this passage below! Thank you
" I had been under the impression that time moved like liquid, flowing in one direction continuously. When you put your finger in a stream of water, it flows around the obstruction, but it’s the same fluid and it’s still moving.
Time isn’t like liquid. I get that now. Time can flow in two directions at the same time. It can pause and dam up for years, without anyone noticing. It can be broken, like wood, and splinter where it breaks."
I listened to this today, for the second time.
It’s beautiful, sad, moving. You have a gift for writing.
This is the best piece ever, Tonya. I read it over & over again, remembering my own flight into a sometimes scary, overwhelming new life of self-discovery. You vividly captured those jumble of feelings in way I simply couldn't. Thank you so much for sharing this part of you, Tonya.
Thank you for this. It felt like a hug as well as a trip. Connie Converse I adore and this whole thing is just "right". Which proves the point - that sometimes you can actually make sense of the senselessness of life. Once again - thank you Tonya
I think this is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've read in ... years?
Amazing piece of writing, Tonya! Looking forward to spending the winter reading more of your treasures.
It’s so hard to leave because you know what you are leaving behind but no real idea of what’s ahead.
What a loss that your essays are disappearing also.
Keep Writing !!!
Beautiful piece, Tonya. So many layers & levels, honest struggle & acceptance. & fantastic writing. Thank you for keeping me company on my Pennsylvania-to-Virginia leg of our road trip!
Great piece, Tonya!