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.

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SUNBEAMS

photo by Patricia

Always a need to busy my mind, because without some distraction my wayward brain likes to dwell on negatives, real or made up. While walking in the crisp air on a sunless day, a day of beauty even without the sun, thoughts go to relationships that seem doomed no matter what. Then a little bird close-by is heard, chirping a song.

Snapping back to now, now is the moment. If you’re present with where you are, instead of drifting off, then what has happened, or will happen, won’t take you away. Can thoughts be better controlled this way? The walking around, lap after lap continued, and with it more enjoyment as the present is more realized and negatives are let go of.

Down by the creek… rest. The sun came out, and though the day is thirty degrees cooler than the day before, it is a spectacular spring day; trees budding, a full out cherry tree in bloom on the hillside all alone in its glory looking much like a rising moon, and suddenly a beaver ducking under the water to make a fast get-away.

Lingering by the sparkling water a settledness takes hold, and the brace of wholeness fills me. It is this quietness each day which satisfies deeply. My environment can be controlled so that stimuli doesn’t overload my senses. Nature’s activity suits me filling the cracks and the holes with peace. .

SPRING PLEASURES

photo by Patricia

The wild creek gardens burst forth finding their way into a flower vase. Biking the canal brought many pleasures; sparkling water touched by the sun, an embankment of white flowers with purple violets near my feet while gliding by, and trees barely budding show a slight wisp of green. A few early fruit trees are full out in blossom spotting the landscape with color.

It is impossible to believe that curbing my thoughts, or anything on my part has brought this ability to feel joy and contentment— and to be able to SLEEP. The change of seasons settles my brain chemicals. Gratitude runs deep as earth’s pleasures are once again felt deeply soaking my soul with peace. 

 

The Duality of Spring

Too easily the buzzing of spring exploding also causes a buzzing inside me and pressure on my heart. Breathe. Calm. Slow down, as my buzzing makes me mop the floors, dust the long neglected wooden surfaces, and scrub things. The fever of spring carries me to places that look manic, at least inside it feels like it might resemble mania.

Lying awake, my harsh voice attacks. Look how you managed the day, allowing too much too fast. Then the softer voice, lie there, sleep will come. And much, much later it did.

As the sun streamed in while working in the studio moments of calm rose. Samuel brought in a package for my birthday that arrived from my son, his wife, and my little two year old grand-daughter.

Pouring out the gems onto my studio bench and reading the Nana card caused a stir of excitement. My grand-daughter picked out the strings of sparkling beads all by herself, the card read. Feelings of overdrive remained the rest of the day.

Wanting to be thought of by others meets the reality of accepting it. I do these things for my children and grand-children, but when done for me, it is difficult to allow the flow of warmth in. It whirls around me where it can be kept safe. There are only rare moments when warmth feels safe to flow in.

Being a good receiver of gifts is not my forte. Suspicion rises, what are you up to, even those dearly loved. 

It’s OK. Accept what is, and the feelings, and why they are there. There is no undoing of the past when those I loved most so cruelly tricked me taking all that is precious.

The work for now as Spring explodes is finding ways to balance her exciting beauty with the need to go at my own pace.   

Slinky has a stretch…  

 

Little Girl, How are You Today?

                                                                                                                                age 8

What can you do for your little ‘kid’ today? Yesterday I took ‘her’ to the mall. Returned two excessively large orders at the candle shop that Spring fever caused me to click on and buy, then next door where items usually $10 or more were just a dollar; items for the girl grand-children for their birthdays and Christmas that made my little ‘girl’ excited and happy because they were fun and full of sparkles.

It seemed my energy was boundless. Errands seemed easy and enjoyable. The day was warm and off went the coat. Once home, energy still remained, even for time in the studio finishing off one last piece before the grouting process begins.  

I had forgotten the importance of being the adult, not allowing the woeful child to take control. Martina gently reminded me of her.  (Be gentle with yourself. Let your wise strong grown up self take care of the frightened child inside. Remind her of how strong she has become) 

As the adult, it is me who must protect her, love her, keep her safe, and give her freedom to live joyfully.Though still dark out this morning, the birds are saying ‘hello.’ Spring brings me back to myself, and to life’s wonders. What delights can be offered to the little child today?

The Child Within

It isn’t often that the little girl is thought of. That part of me might be forever stuck there. Or maybe everyone has a child within them, but one battered might not want to come out. Perhaps that is where my seriousness stems from, going from 8 to 80 in childhood when my body no longer belonged to me.

But she wants to play, to laugh, to be silly, to feel joy. And with the coming of spring it is time to let her because the grips of winter depression are loosening. I’m more able to even if it still does sound odd— letting the child within out.

While walking the meadow path, lap after lap, the sun warming my shoulder despite the chill, I wondered, if I had a daughter so abused as I was, would I talk to her like I talk to myself? Or my grand-daughter, or any child? 

 

Only Child, a Child of Eight

Waking from a dream, more like a nightmare, it colored my whole day. A loneliness descended like a shroud, not an uncommon one, one lived with since age eight, since the first wrong touch. Yet in finding the core of myself, that devouring loneliness dissipated as a feeling of wholeness and connectedness to self miraculously occurred.

Loneliness again, but only a shell of the old pain which felt like a severed body part. Busyness drove it away, walking the meadow, being with others working out at the Community Center, then working in my studio.

A longing for brother Tom, felt shockingly present, the abuser who mocked me for life, now too old to know how he hurt me as his memory fades. The time for talking with hope for reconciliation came years ago, but my request was not to talk about it. Why is there longing for it now?

Yet the need to hear  words of sorrow remain. The hope that he would sincerely ask forgiveness never waned, and never happened. The hope for a brother back never came, nor any brother, as the three others who are innocent of wrong touch make a group I don’t feel part of. There is in me a need for someone to speak of the horrors, but no one will. So I remain as if an only child.

And that child is so needy sometimes. She wants to play, to be free, to have fun. What can you do to give this to her? Figure it out and provide it.