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Where does it begin?

I’m lying on the carpeted floor.  Exhaustion, pain, nausea.

I’ve been nauseous for the past month.  I can’t tell why.  Each morning begins with the same start.  As light begins to sneak through the slats in the blinds, and my body anticipates the sound of the 5:30 alarm, I begin to wake with the overwhelming sense that I am going to be sick. I stand up careful not to lose my balance and trudge to the bathroom.

Where am I?

Which city did I end up in this week?

The hotel bathrooms appear the same.  I judge them based on the width of the vanity, the frequency in which the body lotion is replaced after I store it in my bag each morning, and the ply of the toilet paper. When this becomes home these things begin to matter.

Is that me?

My eyes do not want to open as the whir of the exhaust fan begins to stir. I fill a glass with water, hoping it wasn’t cleaned with a toilet brush. I heard that on a podcast once, and I can’t help but think about that each time I sip from the glass.

Small sip.

Don’t let your lips touch it. 

Pour it into your mouth. 

These are the thoughts going through my head each morning as I try not to get sick. Sometimes this works.

Where does it begin?

I’m still lying on the carpeted floor.  Different floor. Different carpet.  I’m home now. And I’m procrastinating.  As someone whose general approach to life is to plan, cross-reference, and follow up, this stage becomes a frequent occurrence during this time. Something big is due.  I’m at home. Nothing seems to be developing, and the carpet is comfortable.

I guess I need to start something.

Sometimes it just starts to happen. I look through the archives, finding the things I don’t like. Questionable choices that were made with some misguided intention. But they were of their place, of their time.  That sticks with me.  What is this place, what is this time? Ehh, that question is too hard to answer at the moment.  I’m lazy and apathetic.

What’s in that bin?

Postcards. A new archive.  Logs of travels collected from every stop along the way. How could I not pick them up? They speak to a particular place, a particular time. They fit in my bag, which is packed to the brim. Souvenirs won’t fit, gifts are out of the question. If someone is still expecting a gift clearly they don’t know me. But the postcard… A box of images that will never get sent. They’re asking for it, but clearly they don’t know me either.

I feel sick again.

Where does it begin?

Was it ever easy? No. The work comes and goes, inspiration halts, practice halts, the work begins. That’s where it begins. Work.

Do I have the energy for that?

Where does it begin?

It begins with another ending.  It begins by going back. Back to the work, back to the gap, back to the space in between, where other experiments began, mistakes were made, and hopefully a discovery emerged.  Back to a moment. Back to know more.

Back to the past, another past, a fabricated past. Blending images, making connections. One box, then another. A shift, a switch, a rearrangement of what came before. A retelling of history rooted in fallacy. Something found deep in an old notebook that caught my eye, a new narrative blending an ideal and the allegorical.  One that implies a prequel and requires a sequel. History unfolding before me. Bright unceasing flashes captured and reconfigured. Ask more questions than you can answer.