There is nothing quite so elegant as the moment in which one discovers in himself the raging evidence of relational double standards. A crushing blow dealt to rampant egocentrism. And yet there continues to exist that mildly nauseous feeling, part jealousy, part feeling betrayed and part knowing that I, myself, by my own relational style, encourage this very sort of behavior. Floundering in the sticky truth am I.
I’ve not written here for a while. I read today that “Falling in love is like stepping in dog shit. You aren’t looking for it, and then it stinks”. The tweet was not even vaguely directed at me, but struck a chord nonetheless. Should this actually be true, in the specific for the tweeter, or in the general sense, it seems that I am left with either a smelly foot or shoe. Common sense would seem to dictate the cleaning of the affected part be it shoe or foot. I can only suppose that the inference is that to fall out of love is the preferred manner of that cleansing. Having in the past year fallen victim to having stepped into this dog shit of love(if that is an accurate metaphor) I find myself pondering now whether this be true for the object of my affections and if so, why hasn’t this been brought to my attention. Some days I overthink everything. This may just be one of those days. Dog shit, I guess it’s still on my shoe, I just smell it now.
It’s never easy to know another strictly from interacting via social media. I, especially, tend to get caught up in the excitement of finding like minded persons, even to the extent of personal involvement on an emotionally complex level. The fantasy becomes reality on every level except the actually inhabiting juxtaposed spaces in a literal sense. Then along comes stark reality, the others plans, and then the air castles are all the more transparent, the fantasy all the more brittle and the taste all the more bittersweet. Of such are poets made and hearts broken. I should write for daytime television!
I had written earlier about a friendship lost over my foolishness. I cannot express to you the incomprehensible joy that filled me when my friend reached out to me. It brought tears to my eyes as relief washed over me in flood after flood of feeling. I cant tell you how I missed the “I love you”s shared, the moments of seeing the others struggles and real time difficulties, even the simple hellos were sorely missed.
The friendship wont be the same as before. Circumstances are different now. I can assure her of one thing, that being that I will never stand to lose that friendship ever again. I will not lose her voice ever again. I will do my utmost never to be hurtful to her in any regard, again. She has allowed me glimpses of her life that most were unaware of in the past. I can only hope that that will be true now and in the future.
There is no making up for past actions, there can only be remorse and apology. She has forgiven and I am yet again amazed at my friend. In this life there are few enough who are true friends. I can only be thankful for this one and be determined to keep her close from this point on.
I was so sure today that someone had shared the life experience of PTSD, that I just opened my mouth and made quite the fool of myself. My words, “you cant possibly write that without having PTSD or having close relationships with someone who does.” The response, “No, neither is true. I just wrote it like I thought it would feel to me.”
Her book was an emotional battering ram. It took me to places that I had been emotionally and stirred those emotions to flame once again. I had to look at what had been covered with ash for quite a long time. The embers now aflame, must be sorted. It is both good and bad at once. Bitter and sweet in the same mouthful, rather like biting down on a pecan half that still has a bit of the shell left n the grooves of the nut.
The ability to snare the emotions and interest of another, much like a musician does, so the writer. I am content that I will never be such, just a wordsmith stringing them together, sometime n rhyme, sometims not.
And so, I trudge on, burdened by my own words, set aflame by the words of another. You writers….I envy you.
“But only the lonely know why I cry, only the lonely” from the song by Roy Orbison. A lyric truth often unrecognized by the general population. It is in the dark night of the soul that one can only feel kinship with another who at least has a clue about how it feels. All the empathy in the world wont get the pain of a broken heart. It is only one who has stood on the brink and contemplated self annihilation than can understand just how that feels. To be bereft. To stand alone. To measure oneself and finding yourself lacking in your own eyes. It is at that point that one must find that innate sense of self worth or be forever lost in the maelstrom of self doubt and deprecation. I’ve felt that chilly wind. I’ve stood at the brink. And today, I am thankful for the experience, but determined never to revisit that. Ever.
As a child, I wandered the hills and gullies of Southeast Mississippi with a vengeance. Each hill a mountain to be climbed, the brink of a gully and impassable precipice that somehow had to be negotiated. There were no Yetis to be feared, but rather rattlesnakes, wild hogs and my uncle’s bull.
From an 8 year olds perspective, this was a huge bull, equal to that of Minos at the very least. In retrospect, the bull may have been like a large dog, simply following whomever was in the pasture, but in the imagination of a child, a raging beast to be avoided or overcome. How the poor bull avoided injury from slingshot and spears made from tall weeds from the pasture is a mystery to this day
In the summer, I baked in the heat of rural Mississippi. The gravel road was newly laid Macadam now and the hot tar would stick to the bottom of the feet of unlucky boys traveling in the heat of the day. There was no question of shoes, as those were for church and school, as well as any other formal occasion that came along.
It’s been 57 long years since the adventures of a summers day. The beast never won, but was never permanently injured. The snakes were always providentially occupied elsewhere and only a misadventure under the house with a huge nest of red wasps made that 8th summer less than perfect.
How many times the man has wished that he was once more a barefoot 8 year old in Southeast Mississippi in the heat of the summer. The years have fled, the innocence gone, but somewhere in there, the wonder of the child remains.
Sitting here listening to Rascal Flatts sing “I Wont Let Go”. Early morning maudlin has overtaken me full force! Music has always exerted an unusual influence over me and of late it seems to have gotten to be more so, ending me up teary eyed at the least expected moments.
I’ve long had the idea that I was the one who would be the island, the rock, the logical one, he who faced the end with the same indifference as the beginning. My, how the years have changed an old hard head into someone he never anticipated or envisioned. I’ve come late to the dance.
Growing up in the 50s and 60s, I was the anomaly. My family moved on the average of every two years and I attended 7 different schools in the course of my existence before graduating high school. There is no “home” to me, except where I am at the time, no lifelong friends etc. The one thing that remained that tied me to anywhere, an ancient oak, now dead and fallen, unmooring me from my past, drifting me into the future.
And so, I wont let go….of what? I wont let go of the one I love, who is “home”, and all the comforts associated therewith. I wont let go of each friend found, few, precious. I wont let go of faith or hope which keep me centered and sane. I wont let go………
“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to never practice either of them.”
“Without freedom from the past, there is no freedom at all, because the mind is never new, fresh, innocent.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”