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Just now I came up for air on the novel and was reading through some old journal entries while I regrouped. Something about the feel of this one in particular resonates with the mental space I find myself in at the moment, for reasons I can't entirely pinpoint.

So, because it hasn't ever seen the internet before, I'll just go ahead and share this old insomnia-driven scrap from August of 2008 that for some reason speaks to where I am right now:

It is so easy to forget, living immersed in city lights, just how beautiful the sky can be at night. I knew once what the Milky Way looks like -- that gorgeous belt of diamonds wreathed in stellar mist. That seeing it again was such a shock to me is a grief I only wish I could remedy. I would almost say the long drive was worth it for that midnight view alone.

Unexpectedly I met a kindred soul this morning, as sudden as lightning in summer. Perhaps it's only my imagining, but I think she sees it too. Something about the way she stares at me, as though she sees a familiar thing but can't quite find it in her memory. Her pain is my pain, and all the world around us is oblivious. There are words I could say to ease her suffering, but I don't know which ones or how to speak them. Too much has happened already in the name of this cause, too much damage that may never be repaired, and I fear to botch another operation so delicate. One day I hope the door is open at a time when I'm standing before it ready to enter.

This feeling is odd and unsettling, surrounded by beauty of a sort I have long since ceased familiarity with, and unable therefore to drink it in without some discomfort. It hurts, in a way. In many ways.

There's so much here I cannot process.

Sitting out upon the lawn far greener than those at home, I was recognized by a stranger who knew me by the family resemblance. I remember the days when that was more common, and we would laugh about it. The age gap is not inconsiderable, but I suppose we've both always been difficult to pinpoint. The boys were trying to play at the time, but both of them being what they are the exercise was fraught with certain difficulties. I think they have a bond regardless and it pleases me.

Sleepless now in a strange place that is nevertheless much like home -- like what I wish home was. I feel haunted almost by memory, regret, the ghost of contentment, yet these spirits mean no harm. They simply have words for me that I cannot quite make out and am straining to hear over the sound of my own disquiet.

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Alyssa Marie Bethancourt

May 2013

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