Mr. William Butler Yeats.
Recently, it’s like I’ve been in this book called, the Ridiculous Book of Me and My Dumb Life, and the last few chapters have been really hard to take. Still, I feel like I’ve learned a few things. In silences. Through tears. Large doses of humility. And the truth is, I don’t know if I’m any better of a person for it. I’m still mostly me. Still this flawed human being who is messy and talks too much too soon. That said, I’m trying to keep my heart open. Open to listening more. Loving more. Trying to face fears. One at a time. Trusting that I won’t be consumed by them. Because I haven’t yet.
In the past I have had the tendency to skip ahead. This time I can’t. Not even a few pages. And it’s kind of nice not wanting to.
The good thing about exposure is that you finally get to the heart of things. Truth. Sometimes ugly, sometimes just unexpected, sometimes, it’s actually beautiful. But always truth, because that is what light does. It exposes. And it’s not subjective. The bad thing about exposure, if there is a bad thing, is that the parts being exposed are vulnerable. And able to be hurt. But anyone who’s worked a camera knows you need light or you have nothing. I haven’t figured out the key to staying in light and being protected from pain. I think it has to do with holding on to truth and standing behind it. Wearing it. Once you know what it is. Living it. And maybe it’s just knowing that pain goes away. But truth doesn’t.
You know what’s great? When you search the depths of a situation and you search the depths of yourself and you go in looking for one thing thinking that thing is at the crux, the center, and then while you’re in there… in those depths. That well. You see something else entirely. SO, the things you see about yourself– still true. Things about the situation– still true. And then… surprise. That’s not all you were meant to see. All that searching. All the discovery. Was meant to prepare you for something you weren’t expecting.
So, I can’t stay inside. There’s a danger in locking oneself away. And it’s painfully cold outside. Doesn’t do any good to think about fall or spring. Because I’m in the middle of winter. In Ohio. But even in the middle of the bitterness, there is a moment. Of sunlight and frozen flowers. And I want to grab on to whatever life force is attached to it. I think I need to start gathering up moments like these along the way. And looking for more. Maybe I won’t notice the cold so much.
I told someone today, that, “I’m getting there.” And then I thought about where “there” is. And all of a sudden, I wasn’t sure. It’s not that I’m lost anymore. I just don’t know where there is. So, I actually thought about what I meant when I said it. And here it is. Every day, I get a little closer to who I am becoming. And I’m always becoming. With time. With new vision. With an ever expanding heart ( that is often forced to expand). All mixed in with reality. Not always comfortable. But always necessary. I guess I should say that I don’t know exactly who “there” is. But I think I’m liking there. She seems nice.
I visited this tree on a walk recently. It’s in a field behind where I grew up. We used to spend hours… days and nights playing out there. Building pretend worlds. Stories of lives we would live. My sister and brother. Sometimes the kids from the neighborhood. It’s a shorter walk these days. Everything is smaller. The pretend worlds are harder to imagine. And I wish I could talk to that little girl with her freckles and her braids and her eyes that were still wide and innocent and a little too big for her face. I wish I could whisper in her ear, kind things. True things. Things to make her real world as beautiful as her pretend ones. I wish I could make her feel that safe again. That hopeful. Maybe. Maybe I can.