how time slips away? Wasn’t that a song somewhere? I looked at the blog yesterday and realized I had gone over a week with no real post, only a couple of self portraits. It’s not for lack of blog fodder, I tell you. It’s lack of time to write it all down, and also (for some of it) a lack of words. How do you explain a heart expanding like blown glass until it is so thin and fragile it looks like a child’s bubble, and then it fissures until it is completely crazed, but still holds together? Are there words for that? Maybe so.
How do you describe recoiling from physical contact, and then pivoting in place to embrace it? How do you find a way to heal from abuse when you have to deal with your abuser almost daily? And how do you describe realizing you invited your own abuse with just a little help from your friends and family? What about describing having a story to tell that it so important, vital even, and being afraid to share? And finally, how do you describe what it feels like to take a breath when your chest is compressed by emotion and you feel as small and insignificant and fragile as wet onion skin? When you feel like the very breath you crave will rip you apart?
Did you know that sometimes the events of a life are like fire? As we go though life, we pick up a lot of dirt. Living just piles up on us, and we, our true selves, get buried under the detritus of that living. Now and again, and I am finding out through talking to my friends that its around 40, its time for a purge, time to come face to face with who you are and who you were meant to be, and if you are blessed life begins to burn you up. In that fire, the yucky stuff can fall away, and you can find your real self again.
My real self is still a little girl in a whole lot of ways. She wants to feel her daddy hug her one more time. She wants to be safe. She wants to giggle in delight, and run and soar like a kite, but often, she sits in the corner and rocks herself because….no one else is doing it.
My real self is also 40something. WonderWoman, strong and sure and confident and capable. Mary Poppins, solving the problems of all my friends. Barbie, with a fake plastic smile. Energizer Bunny, with boundless energy. And also the little old lady who lived in a shoe. And the caretaker of that precious little girl rocking herself in the corner.
My real self is also a crone, looking out through eyes of age, recoiling from the pain in people and yet compelled to alleviate it. Wise from experience, but too weak to speak loud enough for her warnings to be heard. Moving through and touching this one and that one and giving comfort by the laying on of hands. Smiling and loving and holding and feeding and patpatrubbing all your troubles away. Little girl all grown up, giving what she didn’t get. Grandmother.
Eventually, maybe the three will merge in the fire. I’m thinking that would be an okay thing. I hope the crone can give the little old lady who lived in the shoe some good tips before my kids end up rocking themselves in the corner.
Maybe I should stick to describing sports gifts, it might be easier on all of us.