Of Closets That Hold You When You Cry

When I started this blog entry, I planned on writing something pithy and self-effacing. A light and flirtatious jab at my current state of not-so-happy. An if-you-can't-laugh-at-yourself-you-would-cry sort of entry. But I'm just sad enough to have dropped light and flirtatious off a few miles ago due to their incessant and high-pitched chattering in the backseat. I'm definitely not in the mood to turn the car around to pick them up.

Instead I will tell you how I dealt with my sadness this morning in the real and aching sort of way. I crawled inside the art room closet (My hiding place for daytime privacy. If any of you dare tell my students about the closet I will track you down, follow you home, and proceed to stuff handfuls of kimchi into every crevice I can find so that your environs will forever smell like fermented cabbage farts).

Once inside the closet, I squished my body down into the pile of little yellow smocks, stiff from dried paint, cracked and crusted over. I shut the door so that just a thin stream of light slipped through. I sat for a few minutes and watched my finger trace over the smooth wood of the closet wall, outlining a peeling, glittery Power Rangers sticker that had been stuck there by hands much smaller than mine. As I touched the tattered and forgotten sticker I began to cry. Big crying that fell into my knees, into the smocks, into my curled up toes. Big crying that shook my body so much so that grief tipped and teetered out of my eyes onto the floor. And through all of that big sadness, the closet remained quiet. It was stable. And it was still.

In that stillness I sat and I breathed and I traced the sticker again until I was ready to return to the light and day of my life.

Thank you for closets that hide you and hold you when you cry.