eat me up
burn me down
into the ground
reduce me black
in ash and dirt
return me back
from where I came
and make me solid again
A little background on this post: I originally wrote this entry on 02/28/13, but was feeling a bit too vulnerable then to share it. I read through it again this morning for the first time in over a month and felt a bit sorry that I hadn’t posted it. So here it is, a bit out of sequence in terms of specific time and feeling, but still relevant in terms of my motivation for writing it.
I’d like to thank everyone for the encouragement and supportive suggestions shared in response to my blog post from yesterday (“Caught between the road and the sky”). I’ve been struggling with the issue about which I wrote for a very long time. It has deep roots and there are times (like now) when I feel as if I will never resolve it.
I know I’m not alone in having longstanding core issues that challenge and confound. Unfortunately, I still often find it far easier to extend my patience, compassion, and understanding to others with their own issues than I do to myself with mine. Try as we may, sometimes we simply cannot see ourselves and our own situations fully and clearly. At those times, we need others.
I learned to survive during childhood by internalizing everything I could because my perceptions and feelings were not welcome or safe, and by relying on myself because I couldn’t trust others to be there when I needed them. Old habits of survival learned and practiced under decades of duress can be hard to shake.
I still expect, much of the time, that if I open up about a problem or share a fear or weakness, no one will be there. I still tend to expect that the help I need will not be there when I need it, and that I’ll have to go it alone, because that’s been my experience for so much of my life. I also learned, very early on, that any help, support, and attention I received typically came with a price. Receiving help, support, and attention meant paying up now or owing a debt. Most of the time, I paid by giving up part of myself, as that was all I had to give as a child. I’ve not shaken this pattern fully either.
I do my best to be brave and clear in both my life and my writing, but sometimes, despite my most heartfelt efforts and intentions, I feel weak and confused instead. I aspire to freedom but find ways to trap myself. I am sometimes as stubborn in my desire to quit as I am in my refusal to quit. I’ve been experiencing all of these states lately in some very deep ways, and I’m frustrated with myself, with my inability to be smarter, to make better decisions, and to solve my own problems.
For all of these reasons and many more, I appreciate the fact that I have allies, witnesses, and supporters out there (most of whom I’ve never met) as I continue to make my way forward in what mythologist Joseph Campbell called “the night sea journey … where the individual is going to bring forth in his life something that was never beheld before.” It’s a long trip, often lonely, sometimes dark, and it’s good to know that you’re with me.
Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.
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blog IN AlmosT Two YEArs. I AlwAYs fINd mYsElf wANTINg To wrITE
somEThINg To go wITh ThE ArT buT gENErAllY doN’T kNow whAT
To sAY, so ThEN I ENd up NoT posTINg ANY ArT AT All. I doN’T kNow If
ThE words ArE EvEN NEcEssArY ANYwAY. MAYbE I’m
TrYINg To usE words To jusTIfY ThE ImAgE. MAYbE mY
nEEd to provIdE A vErbAl EXplANATIoN of A pIcTurE cAllEd
“ANXIETY” Is drIvEN bY ANXIETY.
gemini kitten with your supernova eyes drown me in your fountain of youth. charm me with your purple advance overcome my disbelief knock my train right off its tracks reignite my burnt-out heart. win me over come inside wake me up then go away. rebel foxy feisty genius micro romance blindside flash leave me sleepless in the dark calling for my missing twin.