Journal: November 24th, 2017

Image ©Caitlin Murphy, 2017. The Kono! Kolorit 300T 35mm film. 

Image ©Caitlin Murphy, 2017. The Kono! Kolorit 300T 35mm film. 

I've been writing these journals on my homepage for a few years now, and wanted to start recording them rather than wiping the slate clean; I never could jive with the Buddhist concept of impermanence. Journals will now appear a few days later in blog form, so I can keep an archive. 

The last time I updated this journal space was mid-September. Things have, as per usual, been so up in the air during that time period that I didn't want to commit anything to writing for fear my written words would stand to make a fool of me at a later date. 

The last few months have seen the end of a relationship that began in 2015, that carried me overseas multiple times to Israel, and almost saw me move there. The details around that are things I don't feel comfortable sharing here; my former partner and I were fairly private. He had very little involvement with my work here.

I'm grieving but mostly it feels like homesickness; missing my friends and my cat and the apartment I was supposed to share. I'm not sure if I'm displacing my grief over the loss of the relationship, or it had just been enough months apart that it already felt distant. I am still deciding how I feel; things feel unsettled, mostly somber, and I'm busy trying to decide what parts of the experience that relationship brought me are mine to keep. I consider still visiting the country that I only ever visited because of my former partner; I still think about learning the language I originally wanted to learn because it was his first language, and I planned on living in the country.

What is one allowed to keep of theirs when you started learning a new language, a new place, a new culture that became part of you, irrespective of the relationship?

The way we process grief in the end of a long distance relationship feels so incredibly different from breakups in the immediate. There's someone who lives in my neighborhoow with whom my relationship ended almost three years ago, and yet he's still present because he lives a few blocks away. This most recent breakup is 6,000 miles away. How do you process that grief, when you haven't seen them since the height of summer and here you are, surrounded by naked trees?  These are the kinds of questions I'm thinking about. 

The past few months have also seen the beginning of a relationship that will either uplift me in ways I couldn't imagine, or rip me up in the curl of a wave, dash my body across the rocky shores. Perhaps in many ways it'll do both. It's difficult still to say much about that relationship because we're still trying to figure out what our normal is, after our early months being full of upheaval, the complications of our respective metamours. We're still finding our center, and doing that in the wreckage of multiple ended relationships adds another layer of complication. One doesn't have an outline for how to establish and stabilize one relationship that began just before the death throes of another. 

These are all things I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on, with time. I'll be spending the next few weeks moving, beginning the process of building a new home that I hope will be strong and feel right for once. I'm sure some of that will be shared over on twitter, @sex_ational, or in my instagram story of the same handle. 

Until next time, 

C

*PS: the image above is from a roll of film I had developed relatively recently. You can see the full contents over at my portfolio. This particular image was taken off the Forbidden Drive outside of Philadelphia; the lazy murmuring of the Wissahickon Creek made for a lovely day with a friend of mine visiting from out of town.