…things you have lost

64.
You have lost the tattooed lemon that lived in your freezer for many years.  The lemon was illustrated by your daughter during her apprenticeship, the waxy yellow skin bearing a swallow in vivid blue and yellow and red.  It was one of the most precious things you owned, and was lost during a busy few years of house moving.  Still, you find it unexplainable, losing something so beautiful and so unique.

You have lost grandparents and your bird-watching uncle, but the majority of your relatives are long-lived.  Your grandmother is still alive and happily living in her childhood, which is a different kind of loss.

You have lost the willingness to be angry with certain people or at certain situations.  It came as a revelation that release was an option.  There was a process, of course, of seeing your self-justification for what it was (fear of being wrong, fear of another being right, fear of the unknown), but you came to understand that you learned nothing by holding onto your indignant rage, and you learned everything by letting it go.

You have lost your step-brother, who died a few years after you first met him.  He was a tall man with dark eyes.  He loved cars and he loved his daughter, who shook from head to toe at his funeral.  You barely knew him but this loss tore into your body and your mind, the incomprehensible question of why someone so full of the world could die so young.  You will always feel the injustice of this.

You have lost more animals than you can remember.  Dogs and rabbits, guinea pigs and goldfish, cats and mice.  Some departures were a blessed relief, such as the rabbit who began spells of seizures, but some were deep losses, such as the golden Labrador who you took on long walks as a child to escape the turmoil of your home.

You have lost the fear of your own voice.  Since teenagehood the page was your safe space, a place to write and hone, to find and shape the truth.  But to speak it was a different matter.  Were you raised by your parents to be a good, compliant girl?  Were you raised by society to avoid outspokenness, avoid being shrill, avoid being a bitch?  Or were you born with this introspective fear?  Whatever.  Now you are speaking on the page and with your voice. 

You have lost the willingness to be bound.

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