• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 04
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The Training

The important thing is to keep going. I walk as though this is what I planned all along — to fall so deeply that I have no choice but to wear purple and green, to live with a hat that becomes the horizon.

I have not believed what they have told me, or I have believed it too much. Whichever way would hurt the most, I have accepted. I always thought I had so much time. But time is a cold and vacant presence, I have found. It lacks personality. It is like the whiteness that cracks under my boots: it doesn’t exist, not really, only holds us with the appearance of love, the habits of numbness and sleepiness. It blinds us, until all we see is ourselves, laid out as we ever were, dark and nestled against our eyelids.

There is no turning back for me now, but if there was I would push through all the blankness, force my way to that woman in her thirties, that woman in her forties, who had no idea how to say yes. I would tell this woman about the ice, which even as a metaphor is unexpected: it isn’t as potent as I would have hoped for, or as wise. It is only a semi-death, the great white before the white of the mind, the darkness before the darkness, somewhere to walk and to train myself.

I know what I am training for, and this does not make it easier. I am training for continuation, for the constant tread of my boots on the ground, the swivel of my hat, the flatness of my thoughts over every single mountain. I am training for my end, then, the place where I accept my smallness at last – even in this cape, even in this skirt – and I learn to keep going.