The Song of the Lark

There are always two stories to tell, the wreckage and the repair. And the difference between the two can be so small, they are actually told with the same words.

I’ve spent a year searching for the words that describe my journey out, or perhaps my journey in…to a life I could actually call my own. I’d spent a decade of my life so angry and so lost, that I knew I needed to be still and slowly sift through the anger that fed my ability to stay.  When I lost the anger, the path unfolded before me. My walk was slow, and I gathered many treasures along the way. But I listened, learned to love, and was loved, for the very first time.

But searching for the words to define the difference between the pain and the recovery is like peering into a mirror and expecting the image you see there to be somehow more beautiful than the object of its reflection. It isn’t. Because as I keep looking inside, I begin to see the wreckage that lies beneath the surface. And slowly it begins to stir.  That anger…deep inside me. The only thing that kept me alive for 10 years, hungry as hell. Like truth, it wills to be known.

The Song of the LarkI was searching for a box sturdy enough to store all that happened. And when I couldn’t find one, I built one myself–out of my own responsibility. And with each nail I pounded, I kept remembering more. And that anger, that perfect, honest, destroyable anger…it kept stirring.

I was searching for a forgiveness pure enough to harbor the hate even while I remembered to forgive myself. I spent a lot of time taking deep breaths, turning my attention away from the rumors I just couldn’t fight anymore. I kept asking myself the question, “what does it really matter anyway?”

I was searching for a story patient enough to have a happy ending.  Where he could lie, I could leave, and we could remember that there was a day where we loved each other.  But there wasn’t.

And so the journey out is as full of destruction as the journey in.  And when I see them, the wreckage tells the story. The past comes screaming out of me with such fury that it cannot be controlled.  These are words of course, and they are carried by the momentum of his actions. They’d be strong enough to start a war, except the war began the first day he lied away their relationship. I’ve been fighting it so long, I can’t remember if I’ve even won a battle. And so I ask myself the question, “what does it really matter anyway?”

Because just when I thought I’d be fighting this forever, they went and ended it. This entire blog has been about boundaries, about me sitting in the middle of two worlds so paralyzed from past mistakes and future fears that I could only gaze up and out of the valley that became my home. I never would have imagined, it would be them that would release me.

I thought I would hate him forever, but the night he laid his hands on me, pulsating from rage and his own wreckage, released the final story.  They think I need to win. But I am too busy loving the loss. They think they beat me up, they forgot they did that two years ago.

You can step over my bruised body a thousand times. You can hit my face until it bleeds. You can brag in this town until one person finds the stupidity to believe you. But you will not write my story. Not with your fists, your lies and your own pain. It is mine.  All mine.

And so when you said I deserved it, you gave me the words.  There are always two stories to be told, the wreckage and the repair. And the difference between the two can be so small, they are actually told with the same word.

The word I’ve searched for with bed sheets clenched in my fists of rage.

The word I’ve searched for when I chose to be silent instead.

The word I’ve searched for when I couldn’t prove your lies.

The word I’ve searched for when you begged for my return, even as she waited for yours.

The word I’ve searched for each time you told me no one loved me.

The word I’ve searched for each time you called an ex girlfriend or never came home.

The word I’ve searched for each time drywall fell from your fists.

The word I’ve searched for each time you recreated my life in your own vision.

The word I needed the first time you lied, the first time you cheated, the first time you threw me, the first time you loved me, the last time…the last time…the last time.

Goodbye.

The Land of the Living

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

I thought it best to let the weekend come and go without my usual splendor for anniversaries. I watched the days before it pass quickly, and though most were spent dancing inside and out of my own laughter, I still somehow thought the last weekend in May would leave me reeling for the past. It didn’t.

The way time moves us from one location to the next has always transfixed me. Most of us hold on to the belief that time cures all things. That wounds left air drying amongst the passing seasons will somehow harden and fall away. They don’t.

I filed for divorce one year ago today and I can tell you it feels like yesterday. It was May 27th when he forgot to come home. Officially May 28th when she texted him wondering where he was, and 4:18 am when I was smart enough to check his phone, read her words and 4:19 am when I knew I wasn’t his anymore. I like not being his.

Three hundred and sixty-five days oughta teach you something, and the lessons have nothing to do with time. The first was to understand my strength. The second was to shed the shame. The third was to ask for help. The fourth was to tell the truth. And the fifth was to listen and be still.Amanda Carrier, Silence is the Enemy of My Heart

Time teaches us that things slow down and speed up at their own will. An hour can feel like a hundred years and a whole season can pass in the blink of an eye. I learned not to waste time, and to not question the speed or the slowness of its passing. Because time is simply a canister for life. It harbors the moments that define and destroy us. And it releases the moments that heal. It is a vessel for the people who will leave and a life vest for those that stay.

Sometimes time takes its time, and other times it speeds up…comes and goes, dances in and out of us so feverishly that we forget to check the calendar. Sometimes it carries away the anniversary of the worst day of your life without so much of a glance backward. And other times, it whispers to you the lesson…life rejuvenates itself.  Always and forever more.