Joybug: monarch butterfly. Me: paper-thin moth

August 16, 2019

On a cold winter day in February 2017, I stripped all of my clothes off and climbed naked into my 1975 Argosy. If I may wax poetic for a moment, it was my own attempt at a ritualistic baptism; a private and sacred moment in which something old could die, and something new could be born.

I had been carrying around so much sorrow and brokenness in my heart, and it had become too much to bear. But on that day, I painted poems from a can of black paint; wet words that came from the pit of my gut, on the inner naked walls of my Argosy’s gutted shell. I sat on her rusty frame, yellow flowers in my hair, dreaming of what was possible, and trying to let go of what had been. 

It was on that day, in the bitter freezing cold, that I believe a fusing of my humanity and her metal shell occurred. I unburdened myself. I laid down the heavy load I was carrying, and I left it on those walls, where they would be buried beneath what I would soon build. I took solace in the idea that they would always be there though; that my story was carved into the skin of the trailer. That simple act was in it of itself, more therapeutic and healing than anything I’d tried before.

I felt I had found my answer. I knew what I was doing there and why I was doing it. I realized that restoring this trailer had the power to somehow restore me as well. I could heal here, I thought. I could lay everything down, and build everything back up. It’s funny what people with PTSD do to heal from trauma; some practice biofeedback and EMT, some shave their heads, smoke pot, practice yoga, start a new life somewhere else. For me, the only way I could heal was to place all the pain and horror into something outside of me, and “fix it.”

So, in sum – I believe that a sort of marriage took place that day, and it is why I haven’t quit this restoration process, despite how arduous, long, and costly the journey has been.

Joybug came home to me 9 days ago. She’s just like I pictured her in my dreams; bright, beautiful, brand new, colorful. But I’m not ready to share her with the world, because just as she has emerged with brightly colored wings, I have crawled back into a cocoon of sickness with a heavy heart.

I got sick right after she came home with Bronchitis, which triggered an Epstein Barr Virus relapse. This has come on the heels of sickness upon sickness, leading back almost an entire year.  I may sound crazy, but I think her metamorphosis is connected to my sickness. I mean, if we as human beings can give life to the inanimate objects by the passion and energy we pour into them – then in her own way, Joybug has become a living thing. When she is finished, she will be the actual physical embodiment of what my soul longs to express. Maybe that’s why I get knocked so hard on my butt after reaching big milestones in her restoration – laid up in bed for days. She is where my energy dwells, where it is all going. I tell myself that I’m sick because I’m weak, but it is not a matter of not enough energy, but rather where the energy resides. I’m like a dry well right now, as she is the vessel I’ve poured myself into Now I need to draw more into myself in order to give it over to her again.

Why haven’t I shared her new face with all of you? Where is the big reveal? It is coming. But again, she and I have become like intertwined vines growing together- and i can’t reveal her new soul when mine is suffering with the burden of yet another bout of sickness. She has become a majestic Monarch, but I feel like a grey moth with paper-thing wings. I am recovering and almost through it, and when I am well again, I will share her new soul with all of you – I promise. I know you are all so excited to see her, and I am excited to share her. It has been crushing me to lay in bed and do nothing for days; she’s been calling to me like a siren in the night. I can’t wait to return to her, to continue building my dreams. Sleep well, my friends. And sleep well.. my sweet girl. ❤️