FRIENDS

Tinted, like looking at the world with dark glasses. When the growth of a personality is embedded with feelings of ‘badness,’ feeling abnormal, even dirty, it separates a being from others in so many ways… emotionally, spiritually, and intimately. Closeness is feared.

Anxiety arises. Any interaction with another human makes it pop like hot mercury. Though much of that has lessened, anxiety and the customary feeling of wrongness, or badness, are still issues dealt with daily. 

Living in a bubble is not my desire, but my needs require an environment that includes a great deal of solitude that is steadily familiar. Upsets in equilibrium interfere with my health setting off a reaction that is out of my control. But outings are still pleasurable.

A friendly gathering offered a place to really talk. Later at home the harsh voice began banging, “You monopolized the conversation. Can’t you see what they have been going through?”

Then a softer voice quietly budged in, “Give yourself a break. It’s OK to share. It doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of their struggles or pain, or that you don’t care. Let yourself off the hook. Think of the supportive things that were said, like, you are a good friend. Remember that?”

Remember that.

Advertisements

PEACE

Snow frosted trees, big flakes falling. Later in the day warm March sun melted it all except patches of white in the shade of the pines. My boots sucked into the mud on the path, ducks flying off at my approach. An otter swam busily to the creek side lighting upon the log then slipping back into the cold black water. The current runs strong with the overflow from the melt.

It is a period of grace, without my squirrel brain a ’worrying, and sleep coming night after night. A time of rest, with enough energy to enjoy various outings, gatherings, and get-together’s.

My son and grand-kids came for brunch. The monthly women group of friends met Sunday for hours of cards, laughter and fun. A shopping trip to the mall and lunch with a friend satisfied a need for exercise and socialization. .

Sleep brings energy to do these things.Gratitude blossoms as this lull in anxiety yields to quiet peaceful joy. 

 

TRANSITION

photo by Patricia

As the criticizer comes crashing down, coming to a head as the joy of spring meets the depression of winter, I choose gratitude and to look upon my life as one of success; not the critic’s choice… a stain of regret and failure. What a see-saw time of emotion, which is indicative of much of my life; two opposing events, emotions, or ways of looking at things.

Love and hate. Joy and sorrow. How to make room for both in one being, and feeling them, one then the other, or both at once. I loved my mother, and hated her. Sometimes moments of appreciation occur for a life lived with persistence and hard work, but then a bat towards myself about failed relationships, regrets and what if’s.

My heart feels as if physically wrapped in barbs ready to break free or be punctured. A prayer to the universe, Please let go of the wires , Release the strictures, let my heart pump freely.  

Joy and hope burst forth when sprouts rise from the brown earth, joy that suppressed itself all through the difficult winter keeping my flagging spirit up enough to face each day. With more light comes an appetite for pleasures, wanting to do more, see more, be with others more.

The critic needs knocking down, and the soft voice of acceptance reminding me of successes wants voice, and must be given room to speak with an amplifier to hear the whispers of truth.

Yes mistakes were made, be prepared to make more, but look at all you have, and all you have done. As daylight lengthens, so does my ability to see things more beautiful. Food tastes better, scents are noticed more deeply, and stunted feelings open up to possibilities.

 

Intimate Friend

Waking in the dark, first thoughts gather in my belly as a feeling of want, a yearning for a close woman friend. A loss that has been there for a very long time. One who knows. One who has suffered deeply, yet the time spent together isn’t about the long gone past, but dealing with now. A relationship of depth.

This closeness is now found only on-line. With those I can’t hug, sit and have tea with, or go for a walk with. An emptiness yawns open with the loss of my friend who died, and the one who moved to another state. We still email occasionally, checking in on each other, but it’s not the same as sitting with her around the warm stove, or down by the creek.

Friends don’t arrive by stork. One must seek them out by going into the world, a place still found to be inhospitable. Solace is found more easily at home where a safer world opens wide at the end of my finger-tips on the keyboard to all countries.

Though grateful for that in all ways, still, a need unfilled calls out in the quiet moments before dawn dispels the shadows of want with light.

 

PLEASURE

Photo by Patricia

What can you do today to bring pleasure into your life? That’s a concept left behind. The daily business is about caring for a sagging mood, and an aging body. But pleasure? Yes, you can have pleasure. You deserve pleasure too, as if to need validation and permission.Winter depression pulls me to down to a place where just getting through the day getting things done is all there is. 

Samuel asks, “Want to take a canoe ride?”

“Sure,” I respond while resting in the Adirondack chair by the creek after a few laps.

Coming in later from an unusually sunny day, the idea of pleasure drives me to chocolate. Swirling the syrup into my coffee, topped off with whipped cream left over from the holidays, then red sugar sprinkles, also left over from the pancake Christmas breakfast, a satisfied smile erupts. Forgotten was the special use of chocolate for its curative effects on mood and endorphins. Chocolate, a necessary medicine.

What other simple pleasures await? It is up to you to provide them. Take the time to implement pleasurable activities to help the winter months pass more agreeably.

A hot bubble bath, working on a puzzle, a brisk walk in the meadow, a delightful canoe ride on a 50 degree January day, a special meal made with care, being present with the cat warmly nestled in my lap instead of dissociating—be there, be present.   

That cold pit in my stomach that comes during the winter craves relief. In it worms a restlessness unrelieved, an anxiousness lacking till the green leaves grow. What can be done to help bring me back to my core, feel good being there, and stay?

What brings you pleasure? I’d like to know.

 

FRIENDS

 

Mary, Ruthie, Patricia (me), Chris

Rosalie at the camera

The warm glow of friendship settles in softening the ragged places. It wasn’t easy, reaching out, trying, and then trying again. Over 15 years ago, joining the chorale frightened me thoroughly. As a person traumatized, my little home was my sanctuary, the TV my only real friends.

TV people can’t hurt you. Yet a part of me yearned for more, and that part drove me to take enormous risks. My knees shook at concerts so badly the kind person next to me almost had to prop me up. The world was a terrifying place, yet others moved through it with ease. Why couldn’t I?

Over time the fear lessened, the ice melted. Reaching out, I asked others to join a group to meet each month for crafts or cards. No, no, and no thank you. It was best that they said no as they weren’t a good fit anyway. Persistent in nature, my asking led to friends who are loyal, kind, and have enjoyed each other’s company month after month, year after year.

WHOLENESS

photo by Patricia

The path to the core becomes tangled, blocked by memories, though the soul goes there to hide. So one resides in a place that can’t be found. No way in, no way out.

She peeks out at times. Maybe there is someone to trust, who takes her hand and guides her. Even so, the world is tough and into hiding she goes.

It may never be safe to come fully out. Maybe only in solitude does she find her soul, a safe haven to breathe, connect and become who she was meant to be.

It is these roots that save her. The very place she runs from, the memories which are a part of her history locked deep below. The same place where she hides.

Coming out she looks below and runs. Yet that is where the strength comes from and has kept her here all along. It is in what she suffered that makes her strong and who she is. It is her history that makes her beautiful.