SHE

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Listen to Her. Deep, still, quiet. She knows.

Not the should’s and shouldn’ts,

Do’s and Don’ts,

But what you need to do.

Yes, movement is good,

Except when it’s not.

Years of doing, pushing, overdoing,

On an already comprised system

Caused damage.

Don’t do the shoulds, what others have mapped,

Do what you need, and know,

If you listen,

to Her, that is me, down there,

in the heart of my soul, my spirit.

She needs rest?

Provide rest.

SECRET GARDEN

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A fellow blogger used the words “Hold on. I’m holding on.” And it struck a cord. This song helped me as I powered through ‘stuff’ with my cell-phone therapist, Matt. And to give him his due, he did help me. Our chorale sang several songs from the musical “Secret Garden.” I was deeply touched by it and bought the movie version which I still love. 

I thank Lynne for reminding me of the beauty and strength of this song which brought tears all over again as I searched the web trying to find it for her. This version touched me more than the theatrical versions. Her voice is pure though she has taped it in her home alone with her kitty. I include the lyrics, as important. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgziO0ghAA0

HOLD ON

What you’ve got to do is finish
What you have begun!
I don’t know just how
But it’s not over till you’ve won.

When you see the storm is coming
See the lightning part the skies
It’s too late to run
There’s terror in your eyes
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say
“It’s the storm, not you
That’s bound to blow away”

Hold on
Hold on to someone standing by
Hold on
Don’t even ask how long or why?
Child, hold on to what you know is true
Hold on till you get through
Child, oh child
Hold on

When you feel your heart is poundin’
Fear a devil’s at your door
There’s no place to hide
You’re frozen to the floor
What you do then is you force yourself
To wake up, and just say
“It’s this dream, not me
That’s bound to go away”

Hold on
Hold on, the night will soon be by
Hold on
Until there’s nothing left to try
Child, hold on, there’s angels on their way
Hold on and hear them say
“Child, oh child!”

And it doesn’t even matter
If the danger and the doom
Come from up above or down below
Or just come flying at you from across the room

When you see a man who’s raging
And he’s jealous and he fears
That you’ve walked through walls
He’s hid behind for years
What you do then
Is you tell yourself to wait it out
And say “It’s this day, not me
That’s bound to go away”

Child, oh hold on
It’s this day, not you
That’s bound to go away

MONARCH

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I’m not fond of black. Yet the monarch’s deep orange comes alive inside its borders. As I grout the dark black over the rubies and bright diamonds of the new butterfly, I again feel my work aligning with life; the light and the dark, broken, shattered, yet the shards put together stronger than the original, and just as beautiful,  bumpy in spots but adding character and depth.

And the black, tarry thick grout, or filth of abuse, covering the brilliance, does not make the jewels dirty or bad or wrong, or have no right to be here. It only covers it. What’s underneath still radiates. The tar wipes off. I may have to dig, and scrape, and wipe and shine…pick, and poke, and not give up… but underneath lies beauty, shimmering beauty.

While applying the black grout, the sun splashes on my shoulder, kitty sprawls on the floor in the pool of light, and music softy plays in the background. My body relaxes into the project. I can no longer see the diamonds, rubies and glittery jewels, but I know they are there beneath the grime. Dirt wipes off of glass and shiny objects. It cannot adhere.

In the studio I feel whole, at ease, peaceful. I can feel my entire body and like being in it, and being, and being me.

FIGHTER

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I feel wrong, or bad, for speaking up. I don’t always do it right, often messy and overblown, but I do it. And that’s OK. Sometimes I regret it. I wish I hadn’t and probably should not have. Then it takes a few years to recover. Yes, years. And those times happen because I held something in too long, so I pop like a boiling kettle. Oh horrors. What did I do? Nothing all that horrible. Yet it feels so.

I have felt wrong and bad since age 8 and the first attack. All I think about is how wrong I am at every interaction, every look at me from my husband or anyone else, just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a feeling, or belief I combat constantly. And I think always of the other person, not me, their feelings, and what they think of me, (not good). So I keep asking Samuel, “You OK?” Wondering what he’s thinking, or feeling, and what he thinks of me.

What about what I think of me?

I don’t say … “good job Patricia. You finally spoke up.” That’s not my go to thought or feeling. My first reflex, is to blame myself. For whatever. I don’t understand why those who attack and abuse get to be honored, like that pastor, and like Tom. Other brothers interact with him more than with me. I have always felt left out. Even if I chose to leave myself out. They chose their loyalties long ago, and it wasn’t to me.

And I think that’s a part of keeping the girl down so she won’t tell. Even the little girl turned woman. Act like you care and love her, but only enough so it looks like it, but not enough so she’s strong enough to give away secrets.

With how confusing everything can get, one thing I know, I need moments of deep comfort and compassion for myself. I accept, or resign myself to the knowledge, that I also need to work and fight for it, even now, even still, and probably forever more, until my last breath.

It was stolen from me, my ability to self-love. Worse, it became ingrained into the bed-rock of my soul that I was bad. It will not go away. I have to work each day, sometimes moment to moment, to show myself love, compassion and tenderness. 

I’m worth the fight. I’m a fighter. I’m tired of fighting, but there is some left. It is in a quieter, gentler form. But I’m in here!

ANXIETY

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How do you take a spinning top and slow it down enough to see each side? Somehow, during those years of raising children, because of them, I did. I stopped the top, turned it over, around, looked up both sides and down. But it kept spinning for a very long time. The ‘emergency’ brain does that, keeps spinning, no matter what. Always on edge, always awaiting the other shoe to drop, smack dab on my head. Make a loud sudden noise around me. You’ll see. I still jump and scream out as if death awaits.

Meditation has been the key. (Chapter 23: BUDDHA) I could not be around others without so much anxiety I couldn’t be still or calm inside. Anxiety buzzing all the time is no way to live, but it is how I lived for much of my life until I began meditating. The gifts given by devoting that half hour each day are tremendous, miraculous.

Happiness for me is being at peace, often elusive, yet there waiting for my return…