FULLNESS

Ups and downs, but overall an underlying contentment unfounded in my life-time. The years since moving from our other home where our two boys grew up has been a time of great growth and movement towards a peaceful interior.

Rocky, chaotic, and injected with withering anxiety at times, peace comes coupled with joyous gratitude. The cat cries for her food while grinding coffee beans. Placing the plate down she nibbles gratified.

Settling down by the fire with a cup of the dark brew, a feeling of well-being permeates while gently rocking. So much to be joyful about, a home, a partner, two sons bringing a special worth to those around them, and my cat now curled up next to me playing with the string tied to the arm of the chair. 

This is life. There is no waiting for more, or the next thing. This is it, and is savored, each moment, every day as if birthed anew. The snow gently falls through the rising sun and I am complete.

 

The Loneliness of Shame

Temperatures dip into the teens and still dropping as snow swirls in mini-tornados off the roof. The fire emits a burst of heat after the fan is tuned on. Even the house temperature dropped overnight.

After the cat ‘hunt’s on the screen porch during my first sips of hot black brew, she comes in to curl up next to me on Samuel’s stuffed rocker complacently watching me write.

The comfort of home cannot be overstated. Home where my depleted nervous system can be pampered, protected, and cared for. Home where creativity can blossom, and working on freeing myself from the internal too harsh critic can be accomplished over time and with much dedication.

There is no freedom being locked in with critical voices of the past yammering in my head ever since age 8 and the first violent attack. When no one comes to help, a child feels to blame. The family unconsciously understands how well this silenced me, and willingly added to it along the way.

Their shame of doing such deeds, or standing by doing nothing, caused an even bigger shame, the shame of silence, dumped on tiny shoulders willing to take it on. Taking the blame was far better than feeling powerless, not a conscious decision, but self-preservation. I’ll take the blame because otherwise the people I depend on are not dependable, then where would I be?

Guilt and blame are easier boulders to carry than powerlessness. So the family’s shame became my shame. I didn’t just do bad, I am bad. 

It took a life to unburden, rock by rock, right down to the empty wheelbarrow where loneliness clawed like finger-nails on a chalk-board, scraping my insides scratching outwards on tender, raw flesh. Only in going there could I be saved, facing the self-hate, staying, exploring, challenging the voices…

Go to my center, be there, hold me, love me, settle in for the ride, because all others will come and go. I am the only one who will stay. My mother once said, “Be your own best friend,” giving me a book with that title. It has taken a life-time to begin that process. Thank you mother, but it would have been better had you kept them off me. 

 

MOONLIT NIGHT

“Look,” Samuel said, “Icicles hanging off the eves.”

Ready to turn in, instead go to look. Glittering icicles from moonlight shining through, well worth looking. Getting the camera, but knowing windows and screens hamper good photographs, the attempt was made anyway.

The glorious full moon drew me out in slippers through knee deep snow crunchy on top due to ice. Slipping my way down the deck stairs now hidden beneath a foot of white, my camera kept snapping.

The quiet and beauty was nothing like the string of warmer days when muddy greyness dampened the countryside. This wonderland took my breath, mesmerizing with her elegance, the moon smiling with all her luster catapulting downward in a luxurious gown of lace, taffeta, and sparkling sequins.

 

Signs of Spring

During past winters the love of outdoors never wavered no matter how low the thermometer went nor how deep the snow. Walking in all weather prevailed. But this year the thought of the cold kept me inside choosing the basement’s elliptical over fresh air… until yesterday.

The crisp snow temped me outside knowing there are signs of spring to expolore.  Geese honking overhead as they return from warmer climates, two pairs taking up residence creek-side in the same area as other years. Their squawking heightening at my approach.

Resting after lap five, the refreshing walk invigorating, time by the water was savored. It had been several weeks since the last walk probably on a rare sunny day. The surge of spring is in my bones as days grow longer, the sun moving back closer, and my core feeling her coming with excitement and an eternal joy ignited.

 

Where Life Flows

Decisions are hard to impossible if one lives life separated from their being. That also makes life barely worth living. And how can a being make a decision if disconnected from oneself?

Decisions made were often catastrophic. Made without knowing, because the knowing needed is touching one’s center because the soul knows. But that also is the place that felt the hurt so overwhelmingly I left it, only returning in late life with gratitude for living long enough to discover the oasis called home inside of me.

Decisions don’t need to be made in haste, or exclusively in the mind. Much better is letting go to the other world, the soul, the vaporous, seemingly non-existent place you cannot put your hand on, only trust that it is there.

From there, the center of my being, answers flow. But often they take time. Time to calm the excited, ever busy mind. Time to breathe into it, for every muscle, sinew, and joint to relax. For the heart to ease, the blood to calm like sunset waters…the answers come; small ones, big ones, they do come.

Where once life was lived in angst for questions without answers, for answers that elevated the angst because they were the wrong ones, the soft place to fall welcomes me, my center where love flows.

Love for a Brother

The scenery outside is beautiful, snow gently falling upon trees already frosted, the crunch of tires as they drive by, the warmth of the fire with gratitude for not having to negotiate icy roads.

An email read before bedtime caused deep concern. Walking to the phone, away, then back again, a call was made to my younger brother. Though in the past my calls sometimes went unanswered, this time he picked up.

We talked a long time about his son in Los Angeles, homeless. They are not talkers, he and his wife. I did not know, only that he had been struggling which my guess was that meant keeping a job and paying bills- not homelessness and disease.

His daughter was so deeply into narcotics that an overdose took her life only a few years back. Her addiction was kept secret. And now this, also a shock, though they have been dealing with it awhile.

Not only homeless but schizophrenic, a disease Danny, a sibling, developed before taking his own life at 28. My younger brother and I don’t communicate much, or readily. It seems to be a family trait, not talking about things.

We each carry so much pain from the shared chaotic upbringing, delving into the other’s pain is too much. That does not mean love is absent. Prayers of love are sent out to the airways… not much else can be done except emails and calls of support with open listening.  Future calls need to be much earlier in the day so enough time elapses for calm to return, so sleep can occur. 

 

SLEEP!

In the teens with a fine mist of snow sprinkling down like glitter through the rising sun. The fire warms me as birds peck at the suet cakes in the feeder outside while the cat curls up next to me in the rocker. The wave of peacefulness envelopes me disturbed only by my thoughts which wonder when the next crash of chaos consumes me. Because it will.

Take the brass ring when it’s offered. Winter in its slowness allows respite. Periods of grace in-between the other, when even with no reason my insides simmer with over-activity. But not this morn. Turning in bed sleep found me again, then again.

The long snooze lasted almost ten hours. Oh how I love that! Not having a thing makes me love it all the more with gratitude and great appreciation. Sleep, oh blessed sleep!