Day 4: Song at Sunset

photo (18)
from Song at Sunset

Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

Walt Whitman

Day 1: Rays of Shining Whiteness

photo (15) Daisy Time
BY MARJORIE PICKTHALL
See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.

Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies’ dance
All the meadow over.

Blow, O blow, you happy winds,
Singing summer’s praises,
Up the field and down the field
A-dancing with the daisies.

Ahhh September

July stormAhhh September, I’m so happy to greet you and the dryer, cooler weather you will start teasing me with in the coming weeks. I’m thoroughly tired of this monsoon season.

I’m afraid of storms, and there have been plenty of them this year.

The past few weeks have been difficult for me, and breaking my foot ten days ago hasn’t helped. I feel trapped at the house (it’s my driving foot) and more alone than ever.

For most of my life, I have written schedules and kept multiple calendars and had daily to do lists as a measure for whether or not I was doing a good job or not. As a child and teenager, it was a way to bring some semblance of control to a chaotic, uncertain life. It turned into something much more as time went by.

I threw them away earlier this year and decided my worth should not be based on whether or not I completed a to-do list or did everything on the schedule well.

Getting rid of them felt good initially. But in moments of angst and uncertainty I crave them, because even if they pointed to me as a failure, they were comfortable and known.

I’ve learned that while I don’t need them, I do need a routine and constants in my life. I need the same breakfast every morning. I need a consistent morning rhythm, especially before work, and I need an equally consistent one after the work day has ended. Not as a measure of anything, but more as a guide to ensure that my anxiety doesn’t go off the charts.broken footbeing overly alarming and unmanageable.

Even at the office there’s a rhythm to the day that is both familiar and comforting. It varies some from day to day, and even from season to season, but there’s a definite ebb and flow that allows for unexpected opportunities without

I haven’t found that in my home life (yet). There have been too many changes, too much uncertainty for those constants to be made known in the new way they will be. But they will. I’ve already discovered some of the “constants” in relationship: I’m learning who I can depend on in both the lovely and the ugly moments of life.

I just wish it were a little less painful.

sticks and stones

Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured. It is reported[1] to have appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where it is presented as an “old adage” in this form:

Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.

(Wikipedia)

It’s a total lie of course. Words harm. Worse, the lingering effects of harmful words hurt and haunt.

The past several weeks have been remarkable uncomfortable, even painful.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. I saw my doctor this morning and he presented me with a real, viable, pragmatic process which would allow me to breathe out a sigh of relief and provide a respite from the battle within. The more I think about it, though, I realize that taking it would put me back where I started nearly three years ago. I would relegate that part of me I’m just getting to know back down into the dark recesses of myself, where it would be a changeling left to fend for itself…and inevitably because there would be no long-term resolution or satisfaction, the cycle would go on.

It’s a frightening thing to feel something within grow. After years of being, in essence, dead inside, finding a heart that feels and hurts and yearns, there is profound knowledge that there is something more than the abuse, something more than the words or the fists or the instrument of choice hurled.

My life is more than an account about unspeakable acts inflicted on a child or an acutely sick family in chaos or the death of innocents and innocence, but about hurt—both intentional and non-intentional, physical and emotional—how all involved are affected and in the line of fire, and how we get scorched on the sidelines, collateral damage. It’s also about hope, about how hope and grace can permeate the deadness of a heart and nurse it back to life, through the hurt, into that something more.

But still there has to be balance somewhere. It seems just outside of my reach these days.

Once upon a time, I wrote schedules and kept multiple calendars and had daily to do lists as a measure for whether or not I was doing a good job or not.

I threw them away earlier this year and decided my worth should not be based on whether or not I completed a to-do list or did everything on the schedule well. It felt good initially. But in moments of angst and uncertainty I craved them, because even if they pointed to me as a failure, they were comfortable and known.

I’ve learned that while I don’t need the prescriptive methods designed to provide a false sense of control, I do need a routine and constants in my life. I need the same breakfast every morning. I need a consistent morning rhythm, especially before work, and I need an equally consistent one after the work day has ended. Not as a measure of anything, but more as a guide to ensure that my anxiety doesn’t go off the charts…a balance of sorts.

Even at the office there’s a rhythm to the day that is both familiar and comforting. It varies some from day to day, and even from season to season, but there’s a definite ebb and flow that allows for unexpected opportunities without being overly alarming and unmanageable.

I haven’t found that in my home life (yet). There have been too many changes, too much uncertainty for those constants to be made known in the new way they will be, or at least I hope they will evolve and develop. Soon.

And then maybe the old scripts, the hurtful voices and words, will finally fade away.

be careful what you ask for

A year ago, I was frustrated because I felt as if I was running into a wall every time I tried to move forward, really move forward.

Stuck with a piece of a memory, but not the entire memory, no matter how hard I tried, I came to a point and stopped…over and over again, not because I didn’t want to, but I simply couldn’t.

The wall came down a week ago.

I remember it all.

And wish I didn’t.

My doctor reminded me just yesterday that it’s a good sign, no matter how I feel. And that remembering it all means I’m ready to, that it’s safe to go there now.

It’s helped me gain some perspective on all the different fragments of my life that I’ve been hold onto so hard:

  • Dreams, hopes, fears, the past, the future, memories, failures, strengths, weaknesses.
  • People who claim to be friends, but aren’t able to sit with me or walk with me when the days are hard.
  • People who say they’re friends, but only use me for information they need, and ignore me the rest of the time.
  • People who did not/do not love me, even though they say they do/did, using those words to manipulate me to their expectations.

I’ve taken it all in my entire life.

And I know I am loved by some. I do.

But inside, it’s not that way.

Unloved. Unwanted. For so very long.

“Worthless, bad, dirty, useless, no one will ever want you” are the words I hear over and over most of the time in the dark, quiet moments when the memories swirl and threaten to consume me.

Sometimes I just wish someone, anyone, would just sit with me in those moments so I wouldn’t feel so alone.

 It’s days like today that I miss my twin so much it physically hurts.

Alone.

Sometimes holding on is a very lonely place.

It’s hard to explain the pain of neglect, and that what has neglected doesn’t simply go away.

I thought it would.

I told myself (with some prompting from others) that none of that stuff matters, that the only thing that matters is that God loves you. I thought that would eliminate the pain of things that I don’t want anyone to know.

I know I have nothing to offer.

I know there is no beauty in me, either externally or internally. Perhaps because I’ve spent so much time and energy on solving problems, avoiding conflict and creating/being safe.

In other words, holding on.

I didn’t understand that was what I’ve been doing until I remembered everything.

It’s overwhelming lonely in that innermost place, as well as shock and disbelief that such a place exists within.