Part One: Finnigan

I’ve been away. First physically … on a road trip. Then personally … upon my return.

And I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe what these past 2 weeks have given me. Happiness sounds too vague. Rejuvenation isn’t quite right.

Then it came upon me this morning as I woke. Restored. I feel restored.

A few years ago, I began a journey that has been something akin to Purgatory. If Heaven is on Earth, then so is Hell. And no man’s land feels the Heat of Damnation more than it feels the Breeze of Grace.

If you’re wondering if I’m Catholic, I am. If you think me speaking in metaphors, I’m not.

The walk was mine to bear and bare, and it made me a soul resigned to putting one foot in front of the other in concentric circles … doing what I was supposed to do, and not an inch more. Then rinse and repeat with a smile for public consumption.

As Tom Petty sang:

She’s got nothing to hide
And she hides it so well
Keeps broken dreams
To fix up and sell

Damaged by Love

But during and after this trip, a window opened, which opened a door. The mindless circles now appear to be way over there, and I’m standing in front of me wearing a new dress.

This road trip was a million miles in coming. It was excruciating as I waited to depart on that final Thursday in June. At one point I had me thinking I was leaving a day before I was, and without worth of a lie, when I realised my error I literally spoke up to the ceiling and said: Oh. Come. On!!!

Think John McEnroe yelling at the chair umpire.

But then it arrived. And I was out the door for 10 days, just me and my car, off to see Ang and Kat. Along the way stopping in unknown places, dining next to unknown bodies in chairs, faces never to be seen or heard from again. I mind not observing the unknowns, they make for good stories.

With the road, the more I go, the more shackles fly off my shoulders. It’s the freedom that comes with escaping. And whilst I know they will grow back when I return, if I can manage to stay in the moment, I am in back in the human shell of a person who used to be tenderly called Cate Cate by the Garden Gate.

But this time was different. This time, a presence stayed with me on my journey. Through states and towns, whilst I was with my friends, and after I hugged them goodbye …

This Force remained even as I unpacked.

Life shifted, with me in it. And suddenly I’m lingering longer at the reflection in the mirror.

Finnigan? I asked. Did you begin again?

End Part One.

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