this is not a test.

Relax.
This is just a blog post.

You’ve posted before. Over a thousand times, actually.

You’re a little rusty, sure.  It’s been over 400 days since you so much as glimpsed the internet…
but you don’t need a license to be a blogger so it’s not like you expired.  And it’s not as if they can revoke your blog if you post something foolish.

I mean.
Remember the time you posted a series of unicorns photoshopped into fine art?

Rembrandt - Danaë (loves her Unicorns)
Rembrandt – Danaë (loves her Unicorns)

Remember Brussell Crow?

Yum!
Yum!

See?

It’s just a blog post.
It’s not a test.

It doesn’t have to say all the things that need saying.  There’s time.  There’s always time for everything you need.

You can tell everyone later about how you went to state prison for over a year and experienced strange and wonderful and terrifying things.

And you will find a way to explain how you thought “I am free.” would be the biggest short story you’d ever live, but then 77 days ago, he died.

He died without you.

No one expects words to explain something so unexplainable.  Your husband dies — at 35-years-old with no warning — while you’re in prison making a cake out of creamer.  It’s impossible, but it happened and you’ve survived all 77 days of being alone and afraid.  Yes.  So far, you’ve survived being a widow.  Just like the time you survived being a felon, and being an inmate, and being a firefighter.

It’s just a label.
It’s just one more impossible lollipop you ate before breakfast.

No one is counting how many licks you took.
Blogs aren’t regulated by capricious, sugar-fiending owls.

This owl is only concerned with real lollipops.
This owl is only concerned with real lollipops.

No one is regulating at all.
No one is watching.

No one can see how many tears you’ve shed while typing, so type freely.
Cry freely.

Do all things freely because you are free.
It’s a beautiful label to wear on this beautiful day.

Take a big bite, or a small one.
Turn a big fall into a small step.
Tell a big story in a small way
because it’s your blog and you’re home free now.

You are home.
You are free.

And your readers — your blokin, your friends, your Pressers, your Best Beloveds — know the limitations of a blog and the limitations of you.

(They believe neither and accept both.)

They accept you.
As-is.

Even when you aren’t as-was, or as-could-be,
because it’s not a test.

It’s just a blog post and you are loved almost-exactly as much as you love.
(Somewhere between endlessly and infinitely.)

So relax.
Cry. Type. Blog.

Do your best.

This (life. post. step.) is not a test.

_____________________________

I’m home, Best Beloveds, and I love you.
My year has changed me, strengthened me, slowed me, and liquified me.  I am ready to start fresh here and I have a few zillion stories to tell, but first – mostly – I want to listen.

It was so very hard to hear your rawr through the locks. (Most days, I could barely hear my own.)

So, how are you? What did I miss?
Tell me everything.