knowledge talks, wisdom listens


Perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. – Samuel Beckett

Yesterday, I fell. On the way to the train station I was fixated on reading an article on my phone and then suddenly I could see it–the trip, tumble and collapse–but I could do nothing to stop it. I tumbled a few feet and landed on the ground in the rain. I skinned my palms, my knee ached from the impact and a man helped me up and asked me if I was okay. I laughed and said, that hurt more than I thought it would.

Later on that day I read an article calling food sensitivities a myth, a product of our own psychosomatic invention, and I was angry not because the opinion was blatantly wrong, it was the fact that pretty, popular girls can publish un-researched, un-informed fiction under the guise of journalism and the masses will swarm at their manicured feet. I was angry, still, when a comment I’d posted–something I rarely do, comment on websites–calling into question the lack of research from both sides of the argument, the lack of interviews with trained medical professionals and those who actually struggle with food issues (because should we assume that since our food has been chemically and genetically modified more so in the past 40 years than the past 400 that our bodies would have a reaction of which science has yet to understand, much less concretely diagnose?), was deleted. I was angered over the ignorance and then the silencing. But the world presses on and they sell more branded gloss.

That night during my yoga class, in the dark, I kept thinking about night driving in California. How I hated being in cars at night because you couldn’t see the road ahead of you. But in California I didn’t mind not knowing, instead allowing the road to unravel ahead of me in degrees. I thought about a trip I took to Tacoma, Washington and being in car with a man who’d been drinking, and then drinking wine coolers in Manhasset, and I’m mixing it all up. All the memories are shards I can’t piece together and I’m angry that I can’t remember everything. That part of my life is gone and I won’t again feel what it’s like to be 24 in a car, sleeping while someone drives.

We tell stories in order to live, Joan Didion writes. What if the stories are all mixed up, silenced, deleted, not read, not told?

I met with my nutritionist yesterday and the weight loss slowed because I’d been, knowingly, adding more fat back into my diet. Bacon and candied pecans on salads, extra slices of sausage. I was worried, I said. About time. And I knew Dana wouldn’t understand what I was talking about, I didn’t, because I was acting like every meal was my last when another was three hours away. We tell stories in order to live, but what if time runs out? How could I explain that I worried about the time between now and then? How do I tell that story?

I met with an old friend and we talk about the business of books and I tell him I’m done with all of those people, all of that, and he shakes his head. Those people don’t matter. That history doesn’t matter. This thing about your introversion, he starts, and I talk over him, a thing I now rarely do, about how I was telling real stories on this space, on all the spaces I occupy, and he alluded to the fact that my letting people in isn’t a singular event. I have to to continue to leave the door open, even if it’s a crack. I have to keep telling stories, honest ones. I added my email to my About page, and you may think it’s not much but it’s huge, HUGE, for me. That’s the door opening, a little.

There are a lot of stories and I want to tell them but I don’t know. About how I don’t know what’s next and that’s okay but not okay. About how I have this book that I love this much but what if no one buys it, and I know I’m not supposed to wrap up my worth in the business of books but knowing something and feeling something are two different things. About how hard it is to be present because when you’re not present you fall on the ground. About letting my anger go when I see silly articles written or just how many men hate women in this world for no reason. About being young and not loving it then when I was in it and making it all pretty and romantic now when I’ve traveled oceans away from it. About hearing people who are 30 complain about being old when all I want to do is stop the clocks and go back and get a do-over because maybe I would have done things differently.

We tell stories in order to live, and I realize I write and eat and sometimes live like time is running out.

I take this picture of me in yoga class and I immediately dissect everything that is wrong anatomically with the pose. I think about the ten pounds I’ve left to lose. I show this photograph to my yoga teacher and he smiles and doesn’t see everything I do. He says, you look strong.

I think about being awake in the car. I think about driving it.

6 thoughts on “knowledge talks, wisdom listens

  1. 1) you KNOW I love this post. still can’t believe they deleted your comment. wait–yes, i can.
    2) i actually thought the photo above was a stock image of yoga model at first. you look great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently, calling out shoddy journalism on a website and questioning the integrity of a published article is in violation of their comment policy. Good to know that only the glitter will pass moderation.

      Thanks for the love, lady! xo


  2. Thanks for another great post, Felicia. I truly believe telling the story of the ways the stories are wrecked and silenced is all. That’s what we have, what we end up with. I believe in real yoga you become your pose. Your pose is strong. Strength is wisdom…and screw that website. Glad you told the story of the silencing behind the glitter.


  3. Felicia this is so beautifully, wonderfully written I’ve read it three times!

    Sucks that you fell; I did that recently and thought the same thing. When we’re little we fall and bounce back up. I had a moment of lusting after that fearlessness that children can possess; a moment of disgust over wishing to be a child again because it was such an unhappy time for me; and the realization that I was getting “old” and that there are so many moments where I had fearlessness that I’ve since forgotten.

    That realization that parts of your life are gone never to be relived is comforting and devastating all at once.

    The realization that there are big, looming changes deep in my core that I want to make, but I’m worried about the repercussions, the vulnerability required to make them, and the time I’ll be losing if I follow through with them.

    Big things. You’re such a great writer when it comes to the big things. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily,

      You’re so right! Isn’t it wonderful to be a child. You fear the things you never fear as an adult and are fearless over things we’re frightened of as adults. It’s as if we’re growing in reverse, I think, and I remember riding my bike into a tree and bruising my knee and I kept riding that pink bike even though my knees were bleeding. I think it’s because we realize the pain is temporary and it’s so much better to pursue the adventure, and as we grow into adults we run from this pain as if it’s the one thing that will truly undo us.
      Warmly, f.

      Liked by 1 person

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