Winter Fun

photo by Patricia

The break in the weather and longer days hearten me, supplying a much needed steadiness. It is good to wake seeing a light haze through the dark, not complete blackness when rising.

Donning snowshoes, the path is firm. Walking it is easier and provides a hearty work-out. Coyote footprints abound along with deer droppings. Tunnels in the snow are evidence of a squirrel digging for nuts it hid in the fall. By the creek it is silent except the boom when the ice settles. A train whistle in the distance interrupts the quiet.

Our grand-son still sleeps after spending the night. We took him to the neighborhood ice rink for his first skate. He had the entire place to himself.Since he is an experienced roller-blader, he ice-skated as if he had done it before. Around and around, countless times. The sounds of the blade etching lines in the ice brought back so many good memories of the pond, winter days, and winter fun.

After a few sips of cocoa, we headed home for some tubing down the little hill to the meadow, more snowshoeing, and playtime on the icy creek. It is good to have a break in the weather, incorporate more movement, and have some fun with William. 

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Dream Yearnings

Waking from dreams where time is spent with brothers who I don’t spend time with, causes questions while sipping morning coffee. Will I go to my grave with regrets of not reconciling, not forgiving, for having boundaries? Regrets that gnaw at tender flesh from inwards outwards? The kind of regrets that eat away one’s very soul?

A quiet counter voice tries to soothe, that voice arising many times each day to challenge the harsh voice; you came from such dysfunction, cruelty, and havoc. You cannot expect deep relationships with anyone, even those that didn’t attack. Because even the ‘innocents’ who stood by, are part of the group that pretends. Do not blame you.

Yet I do. If I did this, or that, or all the times the eldest followed me around in hospitals during adulthood when our mother was sick; the only times he tried to get close, like a creeping shadow, just like when he crept in the night to attack me.

Why can’t abusers sit down, write a letter, and mean it? Why does it have to be their way? To do it, if at all, in a cowardly way. To do it in a way that I don’t want because bodily closeness feels terribly threatening to me.

How do I forgive someone who never voiced true remorse? Only excuses and reasons. How do I forgive someone who continued a pattern of exclusion due to their wanting to be let off the hook without doing the work? 

Exclusion accompanied by sneering put-downs slickly delivered, and the others quiet tolerance of it set up a life pattern that damaged more that the attacks. That slow, ever present malevolence eroded my self-image more than all the rest of which there was much.

Maybe I will go to my death wishing for what never was after that first wrong touch, a loving, trustworthy family. My work is to die with peace that I gave it all I could.

I must learn to know that even after, I continued to try to love. But others must meet at least half-way. In spite of my rage, you must tell me you are sorry. No one ever did. Not one of 7. Not the abusers. Not the ones who stood by continuing brotherly friendships with the abusers.

You have made a family of friends, sons, and grandchildren. It is enough. It has to be, in spite of the yearnings in my dreams…

Mosaics in Progress for the Gardens

 

SCROOGE

Like Scrooge counting his money, so I am sorting my jewels. For a present to myself more glittery gems were purchased for mosaic work, and storage containers to keep them safe and easily accessible. Who knew that in the tool department storage for glass beads could be found?

Samuel didn’t know. “If you don’t want those, I’ll take them,” he said after noticing the quality of the box and that the cups come out for each item.

Removable cups will make it so easy, and so much fun. I can pour out the precious stones onto a plate making it a pleasure to create and use them. No more precarious little plastic containers haphazardly placed in too small a space to topple over if disturbed.

The pleasures of gifting oneself are many…

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.

COCOONING

photo by Patricia

Cocooning myself against the threats in the world was crucial to survival. Every living being posed a threat. This type of cocooning lead to decay, not growth, but I knew no other way.

Reaching out for help from the black hole took great courage and persistence. One starts where one can. The local Mental Health Clinic took on clients based on income so my fee was very low. With only Samuel working at minimum wage we scraped by each week. My babysitting, crafts and frugal spending habits kept us afloat.

Those steps outward were so terrifying. What will they think about me? The urge to blurt forth what brothers had done had become too much to contain, yet along with it was great fear of how badly I’d look. The dirt by others dirtied me and in my mind must be my fault.

Yet there remained one glittering speck of instinct knowing all that was not true. And that speck grew and grew with the help of therapists throughout the years, even ones that behaved badly. Perhaps those spurred me on even more.

Reaching out for friends and outside activities brought anxiety and was scary yet the need for connection grew greater. Always a part of school chorale my love of singing drew me to the local chorale. That became a healthy opportunity for growth in many ways for years. With shaking knees at concerts, friends held me up with their kind support. Each concert became easier and rehearsals less scary and fun.

Friends have remained and due to taking risks and asking others, a group was formed that has met monthly for over 15 years. We rotate at each other’s houses for crafts, cards,  snacks then a dessert. The comfort and camaraderie of other women became a base like earth to grow from.

The need to cocoon myself from too much stimulation remains. Many should’s arise in my mind, yet one rational voice whispers my truth, It’ OK, do what you need to for you…

 

The Dove

Thank you Christy kitten for all your ‘help’ with the garden stone…

It was during the period needing the most focus that she decided to climb/hang off the metal shelves and scatter broken pieces. Putting her out lasted 2 seconds because I couldn’t bear the howling, as if she’d lost her mother. Finally the outline was completed but with great exasperation and stress!

Not liking a shut door she decides to settle down…

Removing grout…

She flies free…