I have not written in a month. Not because I had nothing to say but because I was not willing to go into those deep woods. Instead I have spent the month quietly inhabiting two states. One private, one public. My public self enjoyed the holidays. I ate, I drank, I traveled about dropping off cookies and cheer, spending time with family and friends, it was lovely. My private self came too and sat quietly waiting for my public self to get tired and go home. Some days for hours I forgot completely about my private state and was amazed by how positive and hopeful I felt. Other times my private self scrambled, clawed to the forefront of everything presenting formless ideas that eluded words. I am changed. I turned 50 in December and it was an emotional day. I missed my mother to the point that I could barely speak about her. Like a wounded child I long for her steady hand. In reality she was not that steady, she faltered and I see those fissures in myself. My private self keeps a little album of these creases in our combined flesh. I am not her but at times I fear that I am. We are so fragile. While I was thinking about these two selves as they slid back and forth on top of each other making me feel whole and fractured simultaneously I came to the following conclusion based on evidence and information. I am going to be okay regardless of what happens to me. I have today and I feel fine. As long as I feel fine I will continue to move ahead. My face in the mirror smiles back at me and I think, look at her she looks fine.