The Road

It’s gray outside, and I’ve spent the day watching the sun struggling to give its final adieu to 2010.  Like an old friend you don’t want to watch leave, the sun keeps peeking through the clouds, even as it sets.

This year, unlike any before it, has been a complete story.  A beginning that hinted at its end.  With each passing day, I could no longer ignore the signs that my life, whether I liked it or not, was changing.  I couldn’t tilt the earth off its axis, make him love me as I needed, or say goodbye without the lingering feeling that I just might love him forever.

But 2010 taught me something else as well. The life you save, may be your own.  It was the first week in January that I admitted to my therapist I had but one fear.  What if, while I work to save my marriage, I end up discovering that it isn’t worth saving.  Nodding, he replied with 2 sentences:

1.  First you figure out where you are going.

2. Then you figure out who with.

Each passing month predicted the same outcome.  I was going to leave, and he was going to make me.  Once I made my final decision, he was going to stand in opposition for the first time in months.  Living life in reverse…it is easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission.

But by that time, 7 months after I began paving the road I would some day walk upon, I knew it wouldn’t be his hand I held on my journey.  He had taught me to walk alone, taught me to love myself more than him, taught me to trust my instincts.  With each brick I laid at my feet, it became more and more possible that I wasn’t going to love him forever. And perhaps, if I must really tell the truth…it had been many moons since I had really loved him at all. We teach people how to treat us. And he had taught me that loving him was like mixing a unique batch of poison inside of yourself.  The mixture would both mesmerize and intoxicate you.  If you loved too long, it would kill you.

2011 is here in just a few hours, and I am not dead.  I’m busy picking up all those broken tiny pieces and seeing what I can create from them.  A new me? An old me? A little of both?  This time, I don’t think I will use so much glue.  I think maybe I’ll simply keep them stashed away in a transparent vase filled with water.  Where they can move and dance, swirl and dip with each bump in the road.  I’m still laying bricks…but I have a new hand to hold.  And for the first time it is leading me down the road I’ve already paved.

The Ebb and Flow

What mesmerizes me most about a child, is his unnerving ability to trust the world around him.  The body and the mind, both committed in the same way…urging a spirit towards that which captivates it.  I wonder when this changes? I wonder most what makes us change?

Lately, my body feels like a child and my mind like a sad, beaten up old woman, whose wrinkles stand the test of time, even as they paint her face in ugliness.  There is a fight happening inside of me.  A child’s passion standing guard against a broken heart.

Part of me is waiting for one of them to give in, and the other patient in understanding this battle could last the test of time.  Perhaps it is in my nature to ponder the questions so completely that they become who I am…not the answers, but the puzzle.

Sometimes, while seeking the answers, I find myself searching for maps…my fingers following the routes, roads, and tributaries that lead me to where I am supposed to feel nothing…but instead, I get stuck inside a mural, living this life whose ebb and flow never quite lead me astray.  Instead I float down rivers, my body relaxed…waiting for the next rapid to beat and bruise me.  Silence is the enemy of my heart.

Is it possible that this body is ready to twist and turn along with the tide…unharmed, past the next rapid? Am I now, perhaps, finally equipped to bounce and slide right on past?

To answer this final question, I can’t help but get tripped up on what it means to love and what it means to hate. I am struck by how similar these too emotions are.  Struck more by the variance of subtleties that lie inside them both.  It is a tricky notion to say I love you…and a flippant one to clench your hands in anger.  Both fueled with passion, only one in fear.

I am questioning the difference between love and loving. One merely exists…while the other lives.  The place they occupy confuses me, and I”m searching to articulate the difference.

But one thing is for certain…I love one man, while I’m busy loving another.

Vows

And so I place one foot in front of the other…less deliberately than I did before. The path is finally cleared, and I no longer walk backwards.  It’s coming easier now.

The final words that I ever spoke to him, linger in my head…but they aren’t in my heart anymore.

“I hope she is worth everything you just lost.”

I think I am most surprised by the fact that I don’t care about his answer.  My breaths come easier now…and as I look around at this world. I’m struck by its beauty.  My body feels full of life as my lips have nothing left to say.  I am both empty and full all at once.   As I relinquish the final pieces of anger, I also say goodbye to the poison that I called love.  And I make a promise to myself…I will never confuse the two again.

I’ve come to discover, there is a rhythm to this all.  The passing of time has a melody…and the sorrow and the happiness spin from the same chorus.  This is, in fact, the life I chose. And it is painful and joyful always and forever. 

The lessons that hide behind the circumstances are both fruitful and relentless.  And they will keep coming.  But for just a moment, I will linger on the best lesson of all…That the vows I promised him were never more important than the vows I promised myself.

 

 

The Newest Season

The moment there is nothing more to say is its own season.  It lasts less than a second, but fills my entire body with longing, regret, anger, and remorse. I find it most confusing that I didn’t see it coming. In the way a falling leaf articulates the coming of fall, only the calendar spoke of the end drawing near. And it wasn’t enough.

This moment chokes me, and strangles every piece of strength I have left.  It twists my heart up and sucks on its pulp.  I feel light and heavy all at once.  The lightness just a symptom of the numbness in my body. I float on air, and then have a thought.

This moment…the one I’ve feared, ignored, dismissed…gives way to something entirely different.  Hope.

The dictionary says hope is the belief in a positive outcome. I think it is more than that.  Hope for me, is the air.  I do not need to verify it…it is faith and love, movement and silence. It is the place my future redeems my past. It is honest and the most truthful apology to ever leave his lips. It’s the moment he admits he destroyed me, and the moment he agrees he did so on purpose.  I am closer now to this hope..a new season, a new beginning.

If I am hanging on by threads, then they are made of silk.  My body wraps up in them, tangled to my core.  And though I find myself teetering helplessly, it is enough to sustain my weight, and I will not fall.If I am hanging by threads, than they are made of Silk.

And while I hang here, I offer you my soul.  I beg you to unravel me, to peek inside and see what you find. I can promise things you only have ever heard of, and I can sustain love even while I ponder horror.  I ask you to walk tenderly, to touch softly…I have pieces made of glass, and others as round as the sun. It’s up to you to discover the difference.

The wonderment of pain, I suppose, is its ability to heal.  And so I take a deep breath, watch the moment pass, and revel in the newest season.  Please come with me, I am going to need your help.