Dilute the Salt

My therapist told me to broaden my world.  A teaspoon of salt in one cup of water, she said,  makes the water too salty to drink.  A teaspoon of salt in a gallon of water is not discernible.  Dilute the salt, she told me.  So I have spent 6 weeks trying to do that.  I have been reading quite a bit, and going out with my friends as much as I can.  I have walked so many miles around North Park that I injured myself.  But I keep walking anyhow.

I’ve been watching documentaries, and I’ve been listening to podcasts.  TED talks have been a salve for me: a reminder of the great world that lies beyond the confines of my own.

Dinosaurs, resilience, outer space and depression.  How to spot a liar.  Talks on courage, on Autism, on the brains of fruit flies.  They suck me in as I sit at my kitchen table, and they take me far away.  I forget my sadness for just a bit, and learn something new.

There is a world out there.

In my haze, I have met three other women in my exact circumstance.  We are all going out on Friday.

I am trying to step out on my wobbly, woozy feet.   I am injured.  But I keep walking anyhow.  Even when I think I can’t.  Even when I think I’m not.  I am.

I am still caught off guard by moments of profound sorrow.  They creep up on me when I least expect them, and I find myself crying in the grocery store parking lot with no warning at all.  A sudden memory, or a realization.  A song.  These things can derail me completely.

But really, these are all just steps in grappling with what has happened, and steps in diluting the salt.  Really, everything dilutes the salt.  Time, effort, tears, sleep, friends….and my salty water is starting to taste better.  A little.

Today I went to Starbucks to grab a coffee.  As I was walking in I turned and looked, and there was the most *handsome* stranger looking right at me.  He was talking on the phone but he was staring at me.  When our eyes met he gave me the biggest and sweetest smile– I nearly fell over I was so surprised.  That smile was very clearly meant for me.  This, in and of itself, is not that big of a deal.  But it caught my attention.  It made me realize in an instant that there is this whole big world out there.  And  it made me realize I was in it.  That I am in it.  That I am diluting the salt.  And that some day, even though I’ll know it’s there, I won’t be able to taste it.



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