Beautiful Dysfunctionality

Allowing this morning’s counseling session to sink in raises my awareness level, and that feels wonderful.

Unless you’re a deadbeat parent, the need to mother, to nurture, and to care for is like a flower that instantly blossoms.  It’s natural and totally one-sided, and that’s ok because that’s what you do as a parent.  Your kid takes and you give, and hopefully you find some morsel of time to replenish so that the well never dries completely.

Things go awry when adults materialize beside the same water source, and now it becomes an unconscious giving.  You love them too, and they need you to care for them for unseen, unrealized reasons, so you dish out for the adult.  Oftentimes, it’s not even a conscious thought; you just do because you have to.  Because this is what you are supposed to do.

You might have the opportunity to restock but you know that if you step away, the one person you have been supporting might crumble, and with it, the life you know. It’s not the best life for you, you know it deep down somewhere, but you daren’t let go because he needs you to be strong, to be the source, to be in his pocket.

Eventually, and inevitably, the well will dry up for him.  Not for the kids, because really their supply is unending and unconditionally always there.  But for him, that well is just a parched, dark brick round reaching down into nowhere.  You stand up; the world tilts for a while as you process what has been happening and finally, with the help of an impartial spirit, you realize what it is  you have been doing.

For a few weeks, he and I have been treading our own paths; seeking our own truths.  It is lovely to see him shed some of the weight that he swore he’d never be able to put down. He is stepping out to investigate and discover about himself and I’m glad for him.  He is learning that it’s ok to drink from his own well, and for my part, I am learning that I don’t need to mother him.

That said, the woman who was part of this union, is but a dried up, withered spirit.  I don’t know if there is life in her because I am not her anymore.  And, I don’t know if who I truly am can ever be part of it again.

It’s been a beautiful awakening for me.  After years of struggle and spiritually backbreaking work, I can now stand up straight.  I can see how strong and powerful I really am. How free I am to breathe, and be, and give as needed.  To give for the want of it and not for the sacrifice.

The Way Forward

I have spent years in the wilderness.  I found a clearing a few years ago but it did not lead to any sort of opening or escape.  On more than one occasion, I thought that I could bolt through the forest to find my way out but that proved to be futile.

Now is my time, and I have found the path.

I speak metaphorically, of course.  The clearing I speak of was discovered when I began the practice of meditation in 2013.  For some, tuning in to self cannot come from simply sitting and being, but I fell into it with ease.  I understood that chatter was okay; that it was fine to set an intention but at the end of each practice, nothing need be accomplished.

It just is.  I can just.be.

Currently, there are major shifts in this soul’s life, so I returned to practice.  I came home to the sangha and was welcomed as if by family.  It’s been only two weeks since I picked up where I left off but the clarity and stillness cultivated long ago never left.  Just like seedlings in a field; they have been dormant.  The only thing they needed was for me to notice.  To provide awareness.

My path ahead is uncertain.  I know to some degree what I do and do not want.

My practice will help me through.  And forward.

Friday Fictioneers – Your Life, Your Choice

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Photo courtesy – Liz Young

Your Life, Your Choice

Word count:  100

 

Jeremy stared glumly down at the city; he could smell the destitution from up here. Another night had passed by on Knob Hill with a stolen six pack, and cigarettes.  However at some point, he’d discovered a mannequin head.  Her appearance was a mystery but Jeremy had named her Lucy.  As his buzz grew, he discovered how easy it was to talk to her.

Sometimes, he’d clutched her tightly and screamed; he’d cradled her in his chest while deep, wretched sobs roiled from him.  Sometimes, he’d simply looked at her.

This morning, Jeremy knew he had always had a choice.

 

Friday Fictioneers – Ally

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Photo courtesy Jan Marler Morrill

Ally

Word count:  99

 

“No, alley is spelled with an E.” She said.

“No…” he was becoming exasperated, “there is no E.”

“If there’s no E, then it’s just ally, like in wars when countries help each other out.”

He snorted, “No that’s allie with an IE. God, didn’t they teach you anything in school?”

His misplaced superiority rankled her, and she turned on him in full grammar nazi mode.

“It is alley, spelled A-L-L-E-Y. ALLIES are made during WAR!”

She kicked him in the shin and as he bent over, punched him in the head, and left him friendless in the alley.

Friday Fictioneers: Sweet Maggie

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Photo courtesy: J Hardy Carroll

Sweet Maggie

Word count:  100

She was a shivery thing huddled in the corner, trying to appear smaller to the junkies who taunted and threw stones.  Even in my addled state, my heart broke.  I scooped her up, tucked her inside my jacket and fled the building with their jeers following.

Fourteen years ago, that kitten saved me; I took on a responsibility and I loved her.  We’ve been through a lot but no matter how far down the mental well I tumbled, she was right there to haul me up.

She died yesterday.

Helpless; hopeless, I’ve returned to chase the dragon one last time.

 

**For our cat, Maggie.  I’m so sorry.**

 

Friday Fictioneers: The Damned Town

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Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

The Damned Town

Word count:  100

Lesley eyed the building while she polished the antiques. Its bleak façade hung like a gaping maw; rotted teeth below empty sockets, and its tongue rolled rock-strewn into the river.

Her gaze returned to inspect the wares on the windowsill; all polished and shiny, ready for another day of business.  Lesley knew though, that by morning they would all be tarnished again.

That night, as every night, Hell’s presence rose through the devil’s portal, imparting its ancient malice into the water. Fetid fumes seeped up river banks, swarmed over trees and bled into buildings, coating everything in a dark patina.

Friday Fictioneers – Old Beryl

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Photo Courtesy: Al Forbes

 

Old Beryl

Word count:  100

Mr. Briggs loved the old girl but now it was time to let her go.  He’d polished her fenders with care, attached the poppy just so and spit-licked the spotlight shiny.

Later, he watched from the other side of the barrier as she passed by, tears brimming, and saluted with one briny hand. Mr. Briggs lingered long after the crowds had dispersed, staring down the road with droopy, rheumy eyes.

He tugged a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose loudly before turning away.  Perhaps he’d stop at the newsagent and pick up some chicken noodle soup for dinner.