I guess the real reason why I’m writing about this is that I am convinced that transformation like this happens maybe once or twice in the space of a lifetime, and I am determined to see what good can come out of it. It’s now April. In the space of one year, I have resigned from an important job. Quit smoking. Accepted a two-year tenure in creative writing. Took a sabbatical. Tidied up my archive. Explored new venues. Been restless about where to live. Traveled. Decided to leave the place I worked in for 20 years. Said my goodbyes. Got and took on a new, wildly beautiful job. Found out that my beloved cat was ill. Nursed him for months and finally lost him. Grieved crazily like I have never grieved in my life. Been enveloped in tons of love. Got to know that I had to leave the house I lived in for 17 years. Started searching for a new house. Decided that I would only take a new cat in maybe a year. Went to New York. Went to Istanbul. Answered an announcement to help adopt a cat. Decided that after all I wanted to stay in the city I was born in and the neighbourhood where most of my friends are. Applied for a house I liked. Lost it. Found another house I fell in love with. Said yes to that new cat, who is now here, asleep somewhere behind my books, waiting to know each other better – the red furry embodiment of how past love can hatch the future and send it to you.
It’s been a rough, rough, rough ride uphill. But in that empty new house which is not yet mine, suddenly, after a long time, I felt as happy as I have rarely been before, full of all that has not been loved yet, gardened yet, kissed yet, laughed yet, cooked yet, written yet, hugged yet, learnt yet, traveled yet, petted yet. The tilting has happened. And all I can say is, if your heart is ever splintered, don’t stop saying yes, don’t stop allowing things to move on or begin anew, don’t lose trust, feel the stream, don’t run against it – you have no idea, but things are already taking care of themselves.
There is, inevitably, a huge loss of innocence. But also, and that is likely the reward, your heart is bigger, and better, and more accepting, and braver. You’ll be very surprised to find it now carries everything truly necessary, everything that you thought you had lost.