Falling From It

I heard once that wisdom always comes in silence. And So I’ve spent the last year of my life trying desperately to keep my mouth shut, waiting patiently for the moment this would all make sense. I’m beginning to hear the silence deliver messages to me, and for the first time, I’m starting to hear them clearly.

What is most ironic about this journey is that it keeps unfolding before me. Each lesson learned unravels a new piece of me previously unknown to myself. It turns out my soul lasts forever and runs deep inside itself. I keep traveling into it, cautiously discovering pieces of me unique and unseen.

As I travel, the whispers of my past get lost in the melody of my future, and sometimes I can’t determine which direction to turn my ear.  Silence is tricky like this, a deafening stillness that begs for concentration.  It is everywhere and no where all at once.

And now, the words fall from me mostly…pour from my skin and this brain with utter indifference to the lies I told myself for years.  This must be the wisdom and I’ve come to understand that if I am going to forgive him, I must tell the truth about what really happened. The words can’t just be inside me anymore, they must fall from me so that I can fall from it.  It’s buried so deep, even I can’t always find it.  Buried beneath a treasure of smiles where laughter erased the pain.  Now I fall silent, and catch a glimpse of how scared I really was.

He used to spend a lot of time hitting walls. And i spent a lot of time thankful that it wasn’t my face.  Except with each falling piece of drywall, fell my trust.  Shattered to the core, I knew there was no boundary he wouldn’t cross.  Nothing he wouldn’t say, nothing he wouldn’t do. He destroyed the trusting part of me–bent it till it broke and named me responsible for each piece that laid in the wreckage.

Where is the silence in that?

Where is the wisdom?

The First Time

I hated my body until you touched it. And I am sure why. They say that youth is wasted on the young. But I’m starting to think they are wrong.  I used to have dreams about the first time. A first kiss, a first love, a first marriage.  I think firsts are given to the young because they are imperfect, fleeting, and full of lies. I hated my body until you touched it.

I used to think I would never be loved again because I was someone else’s first. I used to think stretch marks from someone else’s baby would revolt the next man to touch them.

It turns out, I was wrong.

He likes to tell me I am sexy, and I spend too much time acting like this idea is crazy.

Because the truth, I’m now learning to tell, is that when I am with him, I feel sexy.

Seconds seem more real to me now, because they are covered in the scars left behind from the damage I did this body and this mind when I was too young to know better.

These scars may lie on the outside, but they offer a tiny glimpse of the wreckage that lies beneath.  Ugly things are more interesting than pretty things. More interesting because they tell a story.  I used to spend a lot of time exaggerating my daily life. Now, I love everything that is simple about it.

The reality is that my past isn’t nearly as pretty as I tried to make it.  And I wasn’t nearly as ok as I told you I was.  The beauty is that you already knew that. Myths have a way of being proven wrong, and the truth it seems, is always revealed.  If your touch brought my body back to life, your vision of me cleared the wreckage from my soul. You dusted off forgotten pieces of me, and you polished it until I shined.

In the morning, hazy eyed from a long nights sleep and an early morning touch, I can’t help but think I like seeing myself through your eyes.  And that my second chance is really about learning to love myself for the very first time.

Wild Things

Today, I’ve been stuck on the absence of things. Emptiness, I suppose, is the realization that things are no longer as they once were. Space unfilled, seems like a void, except it is not.  Funny I’m back to thinking about opposites, and amazed to discover that the opposite of empty… is not full.

What lies deep inside my loneliness, is my ability to heal.  Like a winter perennial quietly waiting for spring, when things are removed, they are not always gone. Amanda Carrier BlogInstead, they lie deep inside me…searching quietly for nourishment.  Weeds feeding on next to nothing, my roots are spreading beneath and inside me all at once.  Extending who I am…reaching out and connecting me to the earth, and to you.

For years, I had six acres of my own land covered in creeping Charlies.  I spent hours pulling them each week. My hands tired and pained from the gripping, and of course from the ripping.  One day, I came home to my husband spraying them with weed killer. Armed with a pump and a hose, he casually sprayed my nemesis and explained that this would be the only way they wouldn’t come back.

Except that I wanted them to come back.  This was my chapel, my ritual, and I tugged and pulled at those creeping, crawling monsters and marveled at their ability to always beat me.  To me, this is not a weed.I marveled more at how confusing it was to pull and rip at a weed who produced delicate purple flowers.

It always took me two hours to remove all the purple and all the green from front yard.  And when I was done, I always knew I would be back.  For down below they were already growing, spreading and reaching.  Making the connections that would sustain their life.  If there is a cycle to this, it always turns on hope, even when we can’t feel it.  It feeds on a smile from a stranger, a door held open by the loss that proceeded it, an idea of a promise, the foundation of a second chance.

Until then, I’m trying to respect the silence, even if it is my enemy.  In my darkest hour, vacant and alone, I am still sifting through the absence of sound. I want to be inside it, to dance amidst the vibrations that remain, even as you no longer speak to me.  I was yours before you loved me, and when you walked away, I am still yours forever more.

Yes, wild things grow on less than a little.

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.