i've been living somewhere else for a lot longer than i thought, and i just got back here, and it looks like there's been a winter, and all the things look like they were dead but are just starting to come back to life, there is a tree in a silhouette against a grey sky and it looks like a hand with a lot of tiny fingers going in all directions but there's something else growing that looks like it might mean something in the spring. soon enough. but i can't tell for sure because it's a little bit too dark still, it's just a little too dark. i might not be back all the way, i might not be back yet, there is still something in the way between what i see and the thing that is seeing me, like a layer of water, i don't know if i see you from right here or if i recognize you from somewhere deep under water, and it's deep enough that there is a trick of light, where the waves reflect and magnify you, and i want to say i recognize you all the way down here, but i'm not sure if i can really say that, it might just be what i want to say, or what i think you want to hear, i don't think you'd be fooled by that, i hope you wouldn't be fooled by that, i have a lot of tricks with my tongue, and i'm trying very hard not to show them to you because they are tricks and they are pretty but they are just tricks and i'd rather you were seeing something else, because i want to see this without all the tricks, too, because i have a feeling, i have a feeling this might be important, but that's already saying too much too soon, and it's just a feeling anyway, they don't usually stay for long, and they don't always mean anything. but if i could tell you something from the middle of my heart, not near the bottom, not that deep, but still, not usually visible, there is this: the last thing they told me, before i was drowned utterly, before i went under to get rid of all these layers of skin, the last thing, "don't listen to the songs of the mermaids, they will only confuse you." and the songs that i loved to hear all went away, they all went away, and the world got dark, but it has to get dark when you are at the bottom of the sea, because that's what the bottom of these things are for, and i like it there even when there are no songs, and i like knowing this, something i didn't know before, that there are things that happen, energies that happen, all the time, in the world down here up there everywhere, that have very little to do with how we feel or what we think we want, and at our best, we are following them in the way that we are trained, and do not worry whether or not they fit that trick mirror in the eye of the heart, the one that says, now this, now that, now it has to be this way, now it should look like this, there are these things that do not matter, have nothing or very little to do with who we are and how we are unfolding, and so. it is important, at these times, to pay attention to the people you meet, some of them will pretend to know what they want, even though they don't, some of them will only want something from you, something that you can't afford to give, because they are broken and see something in you they think will fix them, and then there are always going to be those who are clear in the head and the eye and the heart, and they are the ones that are easiest to miss, because they do not demand your attention, they catch it but they do not demand it, and they know something important that will remind you of yourself so much that you will come back to the surface with your new skin and you will wonder why you just woke up. but before all of that even can start even, you have to get past the mermaids and their songs, and you think you should go up, but you should not go up, not yet, you need to go down, and keep going further down, because there is another league of sirens altogether, and they are the ones who have all of the 16 lost pieces of your heart, and if you go deep enough long enough, they will put your heart back together again, and then you will be ready, but you have to go deeper to get there, you have to go deeper, you will think you have explored all of the depths, but you have not, not yet, there is something else there, you have to keep going deeper. and i am not yet back, but i am feeling something very old pulling at the strings in my chest, something like stitches pulling it shut, and i am feeling something like surfacing, this feels very much like surfacing, but feelings go away and become something else, often enough, so i can't be sure, but that is exactly what it feels like, and even though it's too much too soon too deep, i talk from a place that is too deep, and am trying to speak through the siren songs, without getting my own tongue covered with their particular honey, because it will be hard to hear my words through it, and it will only sound like tricks of the tongue, and my tongue can even trick myself, but. if i talk through these things, as i am feeling something very much exactly like surfacing, it might be possible to say things like, this is like being charmed, this is something like being charmed but not drunk, that is to say, this has all the appearances of something that i want, and something that i have wanted for a very long time, but gave up on wanting, a very long time ago, but did not know that i never stopped thinking about it because it was something i was supposed to have, but i was so busy for so long so sleepy for so long so busy sleeping for so long, listening to these mermaid songs, because they sounded better than the music i was hearing, which had grown dull and sad, and i thought that if i did not have their songs then i wouldn't have anything worth having, but i suspect i was wrong, and i suspect that i will know more soon enough and shouldn't say everything out loud, and in truth, i don't, there is always much, much more, because i am leaving the depths where i thought it could not get any deeper, and there are still so many things down there that i have not seen, and there is more than i could see in a lifetime, or two, or 264, and if this is all something larger than my feelings, my thoughts, my words, my desires, than i want to be a part of that and the first thing to do, then, is wake up, and i am just writing to let you know that i hear you and i am on my way.