September 29th, 2016 | 1 Comment »
let there be light

let there be light – photo credit to the Resonant German

Depression is an ugly beast.  It’s incomprehensible.  It is vile.  A trap.  It is a vile trap.  And it’s an experiential thing that others who haven’t tasted it can even begin to understand.  You want to be reached, but you don’t know how to let yourself be reached, because you’re trapped, in the dark.  You want to be helped, but you don’t know how to let yourself be helped, because you’re trapped, in the dark.  You want to live, but you don’t know how to let yourself live, because you’re trapped, in the dark,  where you’re running out of air and you can no longer breathe.

Sometimes, it’s too late.

There aren’t any do overs.

LIFE IS SO FRAGILE!!!!!

Life is such a beautiful and precious thing.  We all get it, a gift, without asking.  It’s so random, who we are, where we ended up when we entered this world and took our first breath.  We got what we got.  Nobody asks to be a Star Bellied Sneetch.  Or a North Going Zax.  We just are who we are.  Why is it so hard to just be?

I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!

I am angry because I am helpless.  And because it’s too late.

There were signals that drifted to me and through me from across the universe, but I didn’t pay enough attention, or I didn’t understand.  I reached out, but not far enough.  In retrospect, it’s as though her spirit was crying out from the place where she was trapped and otherwise unable to call for help, and those were the messages that drifted to me.  Because I have been thinking of her.  I wish I had reached her.  Maybe, just maybe, it would have made a difference.

So yes, I am angry.  Not at her, not at myself.  I am angry with the ugly beast, and I want to wage war against it.  I want to tell everyone I see, everyone I know, everyone at all, that THEY MATTER.  I don’t know where it comes from or how it happens, this despicable beast called mental illness, but I will battle it any way that I can.  I want to pierce the darkness that any part of any person might be trapped in.  Because that’s all it is.  A trap.  A dark, despicable trap.  The con of the ages.  I want to blast it apart with nuclear force and set it ablaze with the brightest of lights so that the preciousness of who they are is evident, that their life is treasure, and that I am privileged to be someone with whom they share breath.  I want to infuse hope and vigor, to spark enthusiasm and joy.

Who can ever truly know what’s going on within another?  How many people do we know who are suffering inside, wrestling with incomprehensible things?  What if we were to take a moment to just say hi, or smile.  An unexpected greeting can disrupt the grip of the ugly beast, and it only takes a little light to break the darkness.  It could save a life.

My heart is broken for her, for our family, for everyone.  Her anguish is over, but in its place is a heavy blanket of sorrow and new anguish in the hearts of those who love her, those who need her.  It’s a shame.  A complete and terrible and horrible shame.  A beautiful, vibrant, strong, loving, courageous, intelligent, capable, talented, and amazing person with so much to live for has been tricked out of her own life.  Nobody saw it coming, so nobody was there to help.  Nobody could help.  It’s a tragic deja vu.  History has repeated itself, and I wish I had been paying better attention.

I’m holding my children tight, taking extra moments to make sure that they know they matter, they are important, they are wanted, they are loved.  I’m listening more.  I’m sending out my love.  To everyone.  Because everyone matters.

October 20th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
a matter of perspective

a matter of perspective

Night time, alone, I sit in my bed with my thoughts.  Music softly fills the background.  I sit with my back against the leather headboard. Toni Childs sings The Dead are Dancing. I sit, letting thoughts of my life drift through my mind. Tears stream down my face. My thoughts are in parallel with unuttered prayers. What is expected of me, come tomorrow? Mother. I’m a mother. Yet here I sit, late at night, cleaving to whatever fragments of thought I can visualize that represent me.  My essence. My spirit. My soul. My self.  I take this moment to find myself, to honor myself.  Otherwise, through the day, I live from moment to moment to moment, consumed by the myriad tasks and responsibilities that never end.

Tears.

Tears.

Tears.

So healing.

Could I even do this, sit in silence with my thoughts and my tears, if I were married? How do people who are coupled survive? They must be able to find the moments they need, no matter their life situation. Or maybe most people aren’t like me.

Probably.

I suppose I’m a rare bird.

Part of me hungers and aches for the feeling of being wanted. It seems so ridiculous, to spend a lifetime chasing such a fleeting experience. As if I’m missing something. Does anybody else feel this? Why do I? I feel so alone. I always feel so alone. Why? I am NOT alone! So how can I feel this? Why do the tears continue to stream down my face? I wish I knew.

~*~*~*~

Coping. How do people learn to cope? How do they learn about coping? When I was young, I had lots of headaches and tummy aches. As in, every day. Every single day. My sensitive nature has been with me all along. As an adult, here I am, 50 years old, pondering the notion of coping. I have a gin with olives that I’m nurturing, and a playlist of some of my favorite tunes set on shuffle, keeping me company. The boys are peacefully retired for the night. The morning reality includes a commute — 1.5 hours realistically; 2+ hours if conditions aren’t favorable. It’s excruciating for the gentle soul that I am to face that in the morning. Daily. Its so hard for me. So I sit here, again propped in my bed, tears streaming, thinking of the word ‘cope’. I’m coping.

Why am I not shaking my fist at the sky and triumphing? Why am I just coping? Everything is SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

My life is truly GOOD! So why am I struggling so? Will I ever make peace with myself? Is it all about me, when it boils down to it?

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. I don’t mind being vulnerable in writing these things that represent my moment, my now, my thoughts and emotions as they travel across the landscape of my mind and my heart.  Truth is truth. It’s courageous. I rock! I say what others might not have the courage to say.

And the dead are dancing again. Probably it’s meant to be, the way the music shuffles and certain songs repeat. All things have a reason.

Love. <3 I’m writing love everywhere. <3 Leaving love everywhere. <3  Cuz that’s all I am, when it boils down to it. Love.  <3

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. Truth is truth.

May 12th, 2015 | No Comments »

My nature yearns for understanding. Explanation. If I can understand something, if there is an explanation –for some thing, any thing, most things, I can make peace with whatever it is, and let it go or let it be.  At times I encounter things for which reason escapes me.  Experiences that I can’t explain.  Choices that confound me.  And just because something seems inexplicable, doesn’t mean that it is.  It means only that I haven’t yet acquired the wisdom or perspective to understand.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, understood as a child, thought as a child…

Also, time is a great healer.  Time and a peaceful disposition.

Occasionally thoughts and memories are stirred, and I am drawn to ponder once more these inexplicable things.

Nobody makes it through life unscathed.

lost in my mind

Recently, the concept of exploitation has surfaced in my mind as an explanation of sorts for certain life events.  It’s by no means a complete or satisfying explanation, but it’s the beginning of a channel of thought that might lead to a deeper understanding.  Exploitation suggests an offender –the one exploiting, and a victim –the one exploited.  It absolves, somewhat, the one exploited from the responsibility of the situation.  Not that I am advocating transferring responsibility for a situation to someone, anyone, or anything other than myself.  The thing is, if I’m caught up in the self-blame game, or the coulda shoulda woulda cycle, I spin around and around and never get past that.  Understanding is never achieved, and I can’t put the matter to rest.

I don’t know what draws or compels one to exploit another.   Oh, I suppose things like power, control, greed, and self-serving attitudes fuel such things.  I still fail to understand the draw of such things, other than to feebly attempt to fill some deep seated emptiness, insecurity, or fear.

Anyway.

Once, on a night train in Southern Italy, packed like sardines with other travelers, my friend and I were molested by an Italian man.  Or rather, by his feet.  It was hot and late, and we hadn’t paid for sleeping quarters, so we all dozed in our seats, facing each other with our feet stretched out before us.  It seems like there may have been 8 or 10 people in each booth, 4 or 5 on each side of the booth, facing each other.  The locals slipped off their shoes and put their feet up, and it seemed the normal thing to do in such circumstances.  Budget travelers trying to minimize the discomfort of a long night time train ride.  At some point in time, the man sitting opposite me started to slowly move his toes and probe.  My friend squirmed and glared at him, but I tried not to move.  Her squirming and glaring may have made him stop advancing the foot that was planted in front of her, I don’t know, but he kept on with the foot planted in front of me. I wanted to scream at him to stop, but I didn’t.  I was afraid of making a scene in front of all those foreigners.  He kept on, and I was afraid to look at him, but I occasionally caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my half closed eyes.  He seemed sinister.  Perhaps I detected a smirk of sorts, as if he dared me to make him stop.  I didn’t move.  I held my breath and pretended to sleep.  I didn’t know what to do.  I don’t remember when he finally stopped.

I suppose the topic of rape prompted this train of inquiry.  What defines such a thing?  The lack of consent?  Does not fighting back or raising a scene mean consent?  Does not actively or overtly objecting mean consent?

Another experience involved an Iranian man.  He was charming, gregarious, and smooth talking.  We were neighbors and met when I moved into an apartment after breaking off a long term relationship with a decent guy.  Now that I am writing about this, I recall he told me he was Italian.  People were more accepting of Italians than Iranians, he later told me, so he generally presented himself as Italian.  Somehow, and to this day I cannot explain how events transpired, I ended up being a sex partner to him.  I never wanted it.  I never consented.  Yet I did what he told me to do.  Why?  I DON’T KNOW.  I would lie in my bed at night and he would do his thing.  MY bed!  Why was he even in my house?  I would lie there like a sack of flour.  Not one bit of interaction.  I would think to myself, how can he possibly enjoy this?  It’s completely one sided and not the least bit interactive.  There was no embracing, no kissing, no motion other than him getting himself off in me.  I can feel my face wrenched in a grimace as I write this, perplexed and disgusted on many levels, to this day.  That wasn’t the extent of it.  He would stand in front of me and tell me to drop to my knees and blow him, and I would.  I did what he told me to do, and it continued for some time.  I don’t know how it happened.  I don’t know why I did it.  Once he brought a friend over.  The General.  They brought a Persian meal of some sort and we dined, then he left.  Where did the other guy go?  Why did he leave?  When would he be back?  They had some flurried conversation in Farsi and he left The General with me.  A stout man in his 60s, I’m guessing, who spoke no English, and used to be a general, back in the old country.  I don’t know.  We were sitting on the couch and I attempted to make conversation.    Apparently he had some background in sports medicine or physical therapy and he picked up one of my arms and began to massage it.  I don’t know how much time passed, but somehow I ended up in my underwear on my bed, being massaged.  It was a bit like an out of body experience in which I looked down and saw a big old Iranian man working his hands over my nearly naked body, working his way towards my nether regions.  How did my clothes come off?  How did I end up in my bedroom, on my bed, nearly naked?  I saw myself and my tattered underwear.  I had this ratty tatty bra that I was trying to get a few more wears out of, and it had a big tear across one of the cups.  It was embarrassing for it to be exposed like that.  Nobody ever saw it, because it was underwear.  But seeing myself in my tattered underwear in front of a stranger prodded my brain into a better state of clarity and I snapped back to reality, jumped up and made him leave.  I’m glad he left.  He could easily have forced himself further.  That was my wake-up call, as if whatever fog or spell I was under lifted, and after that I was able to form a plan to get the hell out of that situation.  There is a lot more to that story, in which I realized that I wasn’t at all safe, but the mere fact that they thought I was a stupid woman gave me the buffer I needed to get myself to safety.  I played dumb after that, more or less, then moved several towns away, in the dead of night, without a trace.  Understandably, I have a general prejudice and phobia toward Middle Eastern men (I have some very dear Middle Eastern friends, so it’s not a universal prejudice).

These aren’t the only events or experiences in my collection.  There are more, and I am only one person.  One gentle, nice, intelligent, and even strong person.  How many other people have tales like these to tell?  Of all the spoken experiences out there, how many more remain unspoken?  I suspect the number is staggering.  I would venture a guess that more than half of all people have an experience of similar proportion with which they can identify or relate.

So.

Was that rape? I don’t know.  Exploitation?  I think so.  I didn’t want any of those situations.  They are a part of my life, part of my collection of experiences, part of my history.  Have I come to terms with these things?  No.  Because I don’t understand how or why they happened.  I’m not the kind of person who lets things like that happen.  Yet I did.  Why?  How?

I DON’T KNOW.

Was it okay?  No.

Am I okay?  Yes.  But I still don’t understand.

January 12th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I’m feeling worn today.  As though the myriad fragments of thoughts of recent sorrows and former sorrows are all pooling together and finding their way to the surface, wanting to break through.  I’m feeling like a meltdown is pending.  Or else in progress.

I know that I’m tired, physically, and that a good long sleep would likely make these feelings go away.  Maybe they’re not so large at all, and would be nothing, if I could rest some more and let them drift off to a safe and peaceful place where they can feed my wisdom, but not hurt my heart.

So many of us are working through such struggles.  Some of monumental proportion. Some, not so much, but in their own estimation, they are monumental.  The struggle exists for us all.  Add to that the burden of misperceptions and misunderstandings.  All these unnecessary emotional struggles!

I think about the role I’ve played in other people’s lives.  The things I’ve done to give a helping hand.  Small things.  Big things.  In some ways and at some times it’s been sort of like helping a child learn to swing or ride a bike.  I give them a push, get them started, explain how to pump the legs or pedal the bike, so that they can go forth on their own.  Sometimes a push is all that’s needed.  And sometimes the push does little at all.  If they just move forward on the original momentum without adding their own force of pumping or peddling, whichever the case may be, inertia eventually wins and all things come to a stop.  In real life, with my own kids, in the same example of trying to teach them to swing or ride, I find myself frustrated when they give up and don’t try to propel themselves.  They want the easy road.  Mama, keep pushing!  But I don’t want to push any more.  I want them to learn and become self-sufficient.

In the adult world, I guess the wise thing to do is acknowledge that when another has allowed inertia to set them back to where they were, the consequential struggle isn’t my responsibility or my concern.  It would also be wise not to conclude that my efforts were ever wasted.  I shouldn’t rue the choices I’ve made, because always, in some manner, something positive and good comes.  Even if it doesn’t look like it, or seem possible.   Always it does.  Always.

It’s hard to watch the struggle.  I don’t know why so many people don’t believe in themselves.  What is there that can’t be done?  So much can be accomplished if one just tries.  Maybe we don’t know where to start, or how to start, but if we just try, we can get somewhere.  Maybe it’s not the right direction.  Then adjust.  And maybe that’s not quite right.  Adjust again.  Just keep on.  Almost anything is possible.

Of course, this only pertains to the struggle of managing our own lives in the realm of things that can be controlled.  It has nothing to do with the struggle of coping with things that are dumped on us from who knows where for who knows why.  Like cancer.  Or mental illness.  It’s an unfair battle.  The only thing I can see there is to do, for those who are caught in this kind of struggle, is to fight, and keep on fighting.  My heart aches and weeps for the unfair battles like these that people are thrown into.

I’m struggling with my own job of single parenting.  Wanting to nip things in the bud, and not knowing how to.  Wanting to impart harmony and peace, cooperation and consideration.  Not knowing how.

I’m struggling with my own sense of self.  I know who I am, but I wonder if anybody else does.  I spill out pages upon pages of words that describe my emotional being.  I have this cloud of emotion I’m swimming in right now, and I can’t fathom anybody else being able to understand it, and therefore understand me.  And that adds a sense of loneliness to the whole mix.  But why would it even matter if anybody understood what I feel and why?  This is just a part of me.  It’s my own journey.  It’s mine.  Why would a sense of loneliness even surface?  By definition it’s supposed to be singular.  Because it’s just me, and I am only one.  And that, by extension, makes me wonder how togetherness is possible, when it’s almost impossible to completely understand one another.  Maybe that’s the crux of it.  I want to understand (everyone, everything).  And I want to be understood.  It seems that I want the impossible, therefore the crushing awareness that what I want I can’t have.

I don’t know.  I’m blathering on about I don’t know what.  Today is my departed brother’s birthday.  Probably that has much to do with what I’m thinking and feeling.  He would be 44 today.  I miss him.

And I’m tired.

September 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I’ve written about ripples before, how one thing impacts another and waves move ever outward, the whispering breath of my spirit carried out into the world, brushing gently against all in its path.  A kiss on the horizon that finds its way back to me.

There is a song that moves my heart.  When I hear it, the strains fill me, move me, cover me, and touch my very soul.  Everything about it speaks to me, as though it was written just for me.  Not long ago, I mentioned this song in conversation, and remarked that it’s one of my favorites.  It comes up on my Pandora mix every once in a while, and it almost always makes me cry.  It just takes me to that place.  The other day, a friend shared this very song on Facebook, especially for me.  That ripple had made its way back to me.

Late at night, after the kids had gone to sleep, I sat cradled in the hammock swing on my porch, breathed in the crisp autumn air, and listened.  Over and again, I played that song.  Tears fell.  I went inside the music, and sobbed, from the very core of me, releasing my self from myself.  I thought about my life, and who I am.  I thought about what I want.  I thought about love, what it is, and where it comes from.  I thought about my place in this earth, the mother I am, the life I lead, the responsibilities I shoulder.  All the while, the music played, and tears rolled down my face.

I sobbed my heart out, and decided that it really doesn’t matter if the man who fits ever appears, because I’m beautiful through and through, in my heart of hearts where beauty matters.  In that place, I am pure and innocent, and in that place I am love.  It’s not about all the men who have gone before.  It’s not about anything but me.  In that place, I see my self.  I see someone who is worthy of my love.  I stood naked in front of my mirror, while the music played.  I touched myself.  I moved my hands all over my body, slowly, looking at the curves and the shadows, looking through unveiled eyes at something beautiful, as tears rolled down.

I must have listened to that song thirty times or more.  I cried my heart out, and touched myself, looked at myself with respect and regard, all the while loving myself.  I know who I am.  I saw myself, maybe for the first time, for the beautiful woman that I am.  I saw myself, perhaps, as those who love me see me.

A small spark flickered inside of me; a glimmer of life reborn.  Tears streamed down my face and I knew.

when oceans rise

I am healing.  I can heal.

Lead me where my trust is without borders.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

I will call upon your name.

Keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in your embrace.

I am yours and you are mine.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.

Fifteen, twenty, twenty five years, or more –scars from so very long ago.  I am healing.  God is speaking to me in ways that most people wouldn’t understand, in ripples and waves that make their way back to me.  I see where I am, and where I am going.  It likely won’t make sense to anybody but me, but it doesn’t have to.  This is my journey.  I am going to walk down this healing path for a while.

I am not afraid.

I am not alone.

August 2nd, 2014 | 5 Comments »

Sometimes, it seems as though sorrows come in waves.  Recently, there has been news of friends, and friends of friends, people around my age, losing their lives to cancer or sickness, and in one case, suicide.  Lives lost.  Yet, at the same time, there has also been news of friends, and friends of friends, surviving cancer and surviving the brink of suicide.  Lives won!

One thing that news like this does is help me put my own life into perspective.  How am I living?  Am I wasting precious moments of my life, or am I living my life fully?

For a very long time, now, I’ve lost my smile.  I wasn’t actually aware of that, per se, until a year and a half or so ago, but once it occurred to me, I scrolled through picture upon picture and saw that it was true.  There are many pictures in which I’m smiling, but the smile is hollow.

Without knowing what else to do, I sought to at least put a little more effort into taking better care of myself.  I’ve taken some small steps and some big steps, and I’ve made some progress.  I’ve been trying to answer the question of how I want to live.  What do I want for myself and for my family?

It’s interesting how things can change so dramatically in an instant.  I’ve been in a sort of doldrums state for such a very long time, where I couldn’t even begin to imagine what sort of life I want for myself, other than simply know that the life I’m living is not the life that I want, or more to the point, the life I’m living is not quite complete.  If I tried to give the matter thought, I couldn’t imagine any kind of scenario that would work, that would even be possible.  My age, my children’s age, my work, my responsibilities.  My life is so full that there is barely any room to breathe, yet still, there persists an aching, yearning need for connection.

Somehow, in the midst of everyday life, the heavens have opened up and rained down on me.  In the course of doing those things which are within my reach, I’ve made new connections, new friendships.  I’m starting to meet other parents, and slowly building a sense of community.  By the simple act of letting myself settle in to this country home and this small community, the community has opened up to me.

I love where I live.  It’s beautiful and peaceful.  For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have a home.   In fact, I feel as though I am home.  It’s something I’ve been missing for so long!

And look!  A genuine smile!

She’s back —  and she’s back in black!
June 16th, 2014 | 4 Comments »

I’ve been on a home organization frenzy recently, which includes an attempt to organize my photos.  As I browsed through them, I started to see some of them differently.  Namely, pictures of myself from a year ago.  Was that really me?  Who was that?

I’ve been on a journey to find myself for some time now.  I know I’ve been singing that tune for ages, but it’s different now.  Now I see where I’ve been lying to myself for ever, where I’ve disregarded and dishonored the very essence of my self for the better part of my life.  Not that it’s been wrong to put others first.  I’ve done well for others.  I’ve helped others.  I will still do so.  At my core, I’m a helper.

The thing that I noticed today is that I’m no longer hiding behind denial.  I dishonored myself.  I let myself go.  I loathed myself. I don’t know why.  I can’t say.  I can’t see.  Only that I did it.  And even so, when I buried myself so deeply, wherever it was that I’ve been (buried under a hundred pounds of fat), still, there has always been a part of ME, the real, authentic me, looking for a way out, looking for the light of day.  She wanted to live.  All along, she wanted to break free and see the light of day.  So today, with the recognition and acceptance of what I’ve done to myself, I also give forgiveness.  Because I love myself.  I wasn’t loving myself, but now I see that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.  And just like that, I’ve forgiven myself and discovered that I love myself.  I’m coming home to me.

I want to clarify that this isn’t at all about being obese, or becoming obese.  And it’s not at all about losing weight, either.  It’s not about the age old misconception that, oh, if only I could or would lose the weight, I’d be happy.  Losing some weight has given me the courage to look at myself, and to see myself.  So this is about getting lost.  It’s about fear.  It’s about hiding.  It’s about the emotional, not the physical self.  Only the emotional problems had a very physical manifestation.  As they do.

There aren’t very many people (and by people, I mean dear friends) who knew me before I lost myself.  In fact, I can only think of three —Dindu, Suse, and my sister S.  These people have loved me for most of my life (and I them).  It all happened so long ago.  I don’t even know when.  Or why.  I know of times and events that caused things to escalate, but the beginning?  I don’t know.  My sister thinks it started when I had an abortion.  She could be right (she’s usually right).  She used to say, “Sissy, that’s when you lost your mojo.  Where is my sissy?  I want my sissy back.  I miss her.”   She’s been saying that for years.

So I’m coming home to me.  Those words stir the memory of a song from my youth.  In my heart and in my head, I hear Hosea.  Come back to me with all your heart –don’t let fear keep us apart.  Trees do bend, though straight and tall –so must we to others’ call.  Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.  The wilderness will lead you to your heart, where I will speak.  Integrity and justice, with tenderness you shall know.

I’m on my way.  Home to me.  My arms are open.  I feel the sunlight on my face.

let the light shine on me

I’m like the very hungry caterpillar.  I’ve eaten my way through the difficult parts of my life, and trapped myself in a nearly impenetrable cocoon.  And now, I’ve started to nibble my way through these walls and I can see the light of day.

Some day soon I’m going to find my smile.  I’m going to become a beautiful butterfly.  And then?  Then I will FLY!

January 4th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

In the spirit of the new year, the idea of a gratitude jar (making the rounds on FaceBook) caught my eye.  Good things, blessings, happy moments — these things are written on pieces of paper and stored in a jar.  At the end of the year, one can open the jar, revisit the moments and count one’s blessings.  Literally.

I love it!

I chose a translucent jar, so that I could see the blessings grow.  (Besides, I found it on clearance for $3.50.)

But I’m a yin yang kind of a girl,  so I thought I would round out the concept with another jar.  You know, for the icky stuff.  It’s sort of a psychological exercise, and it’s not a bad thing at all, once I thought it through a bit.  The idea is to write down the things that make me frown, cause me stress or anguish, and put them in the jar.  I chose an opaque jar with a narrow neck, so the notes can go in, but they can’t readily come out, and they can’t be seen.  At the end of the year, perhaps I will set the thing on fire for a touch of finality to letting the hurtful and dark things go.  It’s all about letting them go.  Writing them down gets them out of me.  It takes the energy that might otherwise deflate me, and puts it away.

In essence, this exercise symbolically magnifies the goodness and diminishes the badness, and wraps it all up,  happy and sad, in a thing of beauty.  And that?  Is a good thing.

captured thoughts

Posted in me, sorrow, thankfulness
December 12th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

My body is changing.  My physical form is occupying less space in the universe, and with this slow transformation there is a new self-awareness dawning.  How can I explain this?  It’s almost as if, for all the years –so many years!– that I’ve been taking up so much space, there was a gaping chasm separating my self, the real me, from my self, the physical me.  Maybe I wouldn’t, or maybe I couldn’t look at the latter.  Maybe it was just too much.  This is not who I am, I’d say, and I’d turn the other way.  But the problem is –was–, that we live in a physical world, so there is no escaping the physical self.  That is what manifests.  And what of the inner self?  Where did that one go?  That one who might have been beautiful, smart, capable, excellent.  That one is smothered by the shell that is manifested in the physical.  I spent years struggling with self-acceptance.  The dichotomy between who I was and who I appeared to be was too great.  E R R O R.  C A N N O T   C O M P U T E.

It’s so very easy to soothe this unrest, this distress, with all manner of deflections and cover-ups.   Fill one’s every moment with something, anything, so that you don’t have to think about yourself, and the Grand Canyon that separates your self from your self.  Be a super achiever.  Move mountains.  Consume mountains.  At the end of the day, though, there remains a deep and aching sadness, because you can’t really cover up the Grand Canyon.  It’s still there, and no matter how hard you may try to justify or explain or deflect or deny, the truth of the matter is that it is still there.  You can’t escape from yourself.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

What I’m beginning to notice, as I sit for a moment and gaze down at the legs folded beneath me, is that the chasm is closing.  Ever so slowly.  But it’s closing.  Because when I look down at my physical self, I see my physical self.  And I recognize a faint glimmer of my self.  I can look at the legs beneath me and say, “Oh!  That’s me.  I’m sitting here.  Those are my legs.  They are attached to my body.  They are a part of me.”  And that is the beginning of acceptance.

Two things come to mind as I reflect upon these things.  Why does it take a lifetime and a radical change to deem oneself worthy of one’s own acceptance?  And why is there a chasm at all?  It’s clear to see how the chasm has grown, but not so clear to understand where or why it began in the first place.  The whole matter is tragic.  Such a waste of life.  Such a waste of beautiful moments, beautiful thoughts, beautiful breath.  Such a waste.

I don’t know who will emerge once the chasm has healed, but I do know that I will embrace her, because she will be whole.  She is who I am.  She is the real me.  Hello, old friend, I will say, when we meet.  I’ve missed you.

January 1st, 2013 | No Comments »

You asked me if I wanted you to stay or if I wanted you to go.  I told you that I don’t like it when you give me ultimatums.  Where is the ultimatum in that, you asked.  It’s in the mere fact that you asked a leading question with only one acceptable answer.  Rather than just enjoy the fact that you are were here.  If you’re here, you’re here.  Why would I ask you to go.

You asked me if I was willing to do whatever it takes to keep this relationship alive.  I answered, “probably not”.  I answered that because I don’t know what you mean by “whatever it takes”.  No, I’m not willing to do whatever it takes.  If it means slitting my wrists, no, I’m not willing.  If it means compromising my relationship with my kids, no, I’m not willing.  It’s an absolute question to which the only answer I can give that won’t be untruthful is “probably not”.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t do anything.  I have done SO MUCH.  Do you even know?  But that was then and this is now.   And you said that was enough of an answer for you.  And off you went.  Again.

I can’t even count how many times you’ve walked out my door.  How many times you’ve hung up on me.  How many times you’ve lied to me.  Yes, I know you’ve lied to me.  Maybe not so many times that I can’t count them, but you have lied.  You speak of how much I hurt you, and I don’t think you have even a remote idea of the hurt I feel and have felt.  Nor do I want you to know.  That’s more than enough for one person.  I sense the pain you feel, and I have my own pain too.  It’s always magnified.

I wish you understood me.  You speak of partnership, and you see my unwillingness to go where you are, but it seems that you don’t see your own unwillingness to go where I am.  I told you where I have to be.  I am standing where I have to be.  I am a mother.  My children are demanding and I am trying to do my best to raise them well.  It doesn’t mean that I think  you’re not good enough for me, for us.  It doesn’t mean that I reject you.  It simply means that I choose them.  I have to choose them.  There. Is. No. Other. Choice.

Do you hear me?  They are demanding.  DEMANDING.  The stamina required of me to maintain composure and remain firm and kind and loving and gentle and solid and good and strong takes nearly every bit of will that I have.  I am weary.  I am ragged.  But this is my prime responsibility and this is what I must do.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, that I don’t value you, that I don’t see your worth.  It just means that I have absolutely no idea how to balance life with a relationship, children and work.  I can barely, barely manage to hold it all together with just children and work.

What you need and want and require in a relationship I cannot give.  I am sorry.

I don’t know what else to say.

I am sorry.

What do I need?  I need a friend.  A shoulder to cry on.  Someone who’s interested in how my day went.  Someone who’s content in knowing that I’m a friend, that I have a shoulder for them to cry on, and I’m interested in  how their day went.

You’ve been distancing yourself from me for some time now.  Do you think I didn’t know this or feel this?  Of course I did.  You said you were doing this to prepare yourself to break up with me, because this relationship isn’t working for you.

So now you’ve said it.  And now you may go.

I wish you well.

You posted a quote on your Facebook wall this morning:

Watching you walk out of my life hasn’t made me bitter or cynical about love, but rather, it has shown me that if I wanted so badly to be with the wrong person, how beautiful it will be when the right one comes along.

I read it and thought, yes, how beautiful it will be for you when the right one does come along.  Because I am not the right one, as much as you think that I am.  And I think that somewhere deep down in your heart, you know it too.

Is this the last goodbye?  I don’t know.  I’m not going anywhere.  I am here with my kids.  This is where I will be.

If you ever need a friend, or a shoulder to cry on, or someone who’s interested in how your day went, give me a call.