Friday, June 25, 2010

You’ll still hear me singing

Angel Island

I’m sitting in a guest room, looking out on the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge gleaming under a full moon. One of the things I was worried about, abandoning my trip in the Sierra, was that it left me without a place to stay in San Francisco this week. I was flailing about, discovering that rental cars in California cost $60 a day and campsites $25, hostels $20 a head, etc., only to have a good friend’s sister call and invite me to stay in her guest room. It’s yet another strand of the web of synchronicity that’s been woven around me by the writers’ group I joined in Chattanooga last fall.

I was just telling my dinner companions this evening about it: I met Ellen, my first Chattanooga friend, at an event at an organic grocery and café on the North Shore, and she connected me to this larger community of artists in the area, a community that has continued to spread outward, now connecting me all the way to the Left Coast. So today I spent the day wandering around the bluffs of Point Reyes Seashore, watching elk graze on the yellow hills, walking along the barren, wind-swept beaches, eating sandwiches among purple thistles and lupin.

My brother marries tomorrow, at a vineyard looking out onto the mountains, the bay, and the city. This is, after all, the reason for my vast trip cross-country, my adventure from Tennessee to Virginia to Michigan and thence to California. To give my brother away, in spirit if not literally. It’s a difficult thing to watch my baby brother separate himself from my family and create one of his own.

I’m afraid of losing him, for real. I’m afraid of losing the closeness we have now. I’m afraid that in a way he won’t fully be my brother anymore, even though I know that's not true. But now he’ll belong to someone else, for better or for worse. There are always tears at a wedding, because it’s a rupture of sorts. A loss of one family, being traded for another. Tomorrow I have to let go of my brother. If I love him, I have to let him fly free.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love this truth in your feelings about your brother. It is so hard to watch! The hopeful piece is the added insight and evolution of your family with a new sister! I have found that to be an amazing gift, as they can enter with new eyes and visions to help us think bigger!

Missing your insights and hoping to see new posts soon!

-Sonia

Melissa said...

Thanks, Sonia. As I will soon reveal, I am stricken with a horrible case of poison oak, and have been avoiding posting by scratching. (Don't say it--I know I'm not supposed to.) It's amazing how much itchiness prevents me from creativity and mental clarity.

I feel like Job, although he was allowed to scrape himself with potsherds.

I have been writing, just not posting, and entries and photographs from the California adventure are forthcoming.