Pieces.

shattered_statue_by_hecatean-d8o9rd2

What courage have I?  In the moment, it is simply a thing I have to do.  Tired of picking up pieces; the result of others’ choices, I made my own, and scattered my marriage, my life and his life to all points and corners.

I had envisioned months and months of civil side-by-side living while I cultivated the desire to live away from him.  I was shut down, closed off, impenetrable, had made my decision and dammit, I’d had enough.  I loved my children but I did not love my husband anymore.  Even the little, familiar things we shared seemed inconsequential and did not affect my ambition.

Six weeks later, I find myself rummaging for all the pieces.  Slowly, deliberately, even perhaps letting them come find me for repair.  As in Kintsugi, we are reconstructing in new ways.  Our marriage from before is dead; exploded, and the new one is beginning to look much different.

With this slow repair though, comes a devil on my shoulder.  The doubter, nagger, and all around pessimist.  She is obstinate and doesn’t want to move forward.  She is petulant and refuses to show any kind of affection.  She throws emotional grenades that make me break down in counseling sessions.  But what she fails to realize is that her work aids progress; she is part of the yin and yang of me.  However, she’s been the larger of the two for a long time and she’s not keen on sharing power.

So, I am struggling with conflict.  The desire to move forward and to not.

These are interesting times.  I see my husband in a new light but I don’t yet know who I am, or who I am in this relationship.  It’s a new thing, but not.  It’s not like a new relationship that’s thrilling and butterfly-inducing; it has a history.

So, I work on myself.  Or sit with myself.  Do nothing.  Think nothing.  Feel nothing.  Other times, I do, think and feel it all at once.  It’s still choppy waters.

But that devil…..boy, she’s had her way for so long.  I mustn’t fight her, but allowing her just to be makes my life quite challenging.

 

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Friday Fictioneers – Proud Mary

Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo courtesy: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Proud Mary

Word count:  100

Ray waited for his mother as always on the lowest step. He was learning about the holocaust in school, and for the first time in a year he noticed that the patterns on the entrance gate resembled the Jewish star. He sighed, and poked at the hole in his shoe.

Mr. Robino whisked in through the outside door but stopped short. With a mixture of compassion and irritation, he offered his loaf of bread. The smell stirred hunger in Ray’s belly but his mother’s words came to mind:

“We may be poor now; Raymond, but we do not accept charity.”

 

Harnessing the wrong horse

Schnider42

Doubt. I named it. Immediately after an impromptu inner pep talk. During the talk, a fact so certain and real lit up my heart.  It brought forth a brief, and not often felt certainty and acknowlegement. Couldn’t help but smile. Was allowed to view truth.

Doubt is crafty; often barely heard or seen or felt. The inner dialog hums like the continued strum of a guitar chord and doubt weaves its way in and around the sound.

Doubt is devious. It grabs like a wretched Granny with a bony claw at memories it knows will capture your attention, and throws a harness over the neck of that ill-flogged horse. This only serves to stall progress.

Doubt seeps into life in some form or another. Sometimes it’s palpable, “I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to carry anymore moving boxes.” Sometimes it’s trivial, “Hmmm…I don’t think the chicken’s gonna turn out the way I wanted.” And sometimes it’s a whisper, “Why can’t I…?” “I’ll never be able to…” “What’s wrong with me…?”

The self-doubt prose is so finely honed that we only become aware of it when we question the wheedling whine. We have to confront it, and shove it aside to reveal the treasures it doesn’t want to be discovered. It has no choice but to step aside when faced with truth.

The trick then, is to remember that fleeting feeling of gloriousness from a potential met. That solid gold in the heart like light pouring from an open book.

Remember it. Feel it. Doubt will reel from it. And that worn historical horse can go live out its days in pasture.

All The Good Things

I am in the present moment very much lately. I love that. I can look behind me and feel an ache in my heart. I can look ahead and feel the tug of worry in my heart. Mostly I’m right here, right now. Flying, sailing, whatever feeling that comes from going along comfortably, smoothly. I have begun to allow the dark things some room to breathe and exist.  I can have thoughts of anger, resentment, jealousy, wishing a person ill-will and I am more at ease with these things. I know they can’t be true, they are my own issues from *waves hand* events past. They are not truly who I am. I thought I had changed, become a new me but it’s not that; I am growing into the real me. I smile. I am smiling so much lately for no other reason than that.

The questions that live inside still poke for answers, like children not content with the explanation. But I can do nothing for those questions. I am answerless. They niggle a little and if I have occasion to become wrapped up in them, I can still shed tears for them. But I am ‘cleaning up’ as the chakra lady said. It’s just a bit of a big mess that takes a little extra time, is all.

Yoga has a gym-mat-fad feel in the world. However, at home in the privacy of my bedroom, looking out into the fallen-leaved wood with families of deer frolicking around at breakfast, it is a sensual, albeit sometimes strenuous act. I love the feel of going (and pardon my unyogi-like verbiage) from plank, to yoga push up to cobra to downward dog.  It’s effort and gliding, strength and stretching all at once; so satisfying.

mermaid-yoga-kelly-zumberge

The feel of the first sip of hot Earl Grey tea from the ceramic tea thermos that a dear friend recently sent me.  Instant blanket for my insides for cold mornings on busy, inconsiderate roads.

My husband is home for family dinners.  I adore that we all eat together now when for many years, with him as chef for whatever restaurant, it was never possible.  It’s a fun routine accompanied by music, telling of our Highs & Lows, belching, chatter, giggles, and of course some stern words to keep knees down, all four chair legs on the floor, and to stop mouths being stuffed with too big a bite.

Life is truly good. Just a tinge of things past to nudge my heart at some point every day. It’s ok though; without it, I wouldn’t appreciate what I have so I think I can live with the sting.

A big test.

I’m not quite sure where to start today.   This is my first post on WordPress so perhaps I’ll just dive right in, yeah?  What I’m to write about feels selfish.  Like, who gives a shit really?  There are kids out there with nowhere to sleep.  Animals and people suffering horrendous abuse.  Horrors and atrocities that defy description.  Yet here I am with my little bit of me, about to express the crap out of something that has horrified, humbled and humiliated me.  And worst of all, I did it to myself.

I can’t control what happens out in the world.  I can only control what happens in me and that’s why I give a shit.  If I didn’t, I understand that I wouldn’t feel this way.

(Thanks, that doesn’t help)

If I sound angry, I am.  I’m angry and disappointed.  You have expectations, right?  Unspoken ones.  You set them for yourself unconsciously and there’s no question that you can meet those expectations.  It’s a done deal.  There’s no planning for an alternative.  But when you fall far, far short of those ideals, landing on your back awkwardly, looking up at life as it swirls and carries on without you, you feel confused, out of control, hurt, indignant…wounded.

(Did I need to be brought down a peg or two?)

I drove down to the Delaware Theatre Association Festival on Saturday, about an hour and a half journey a little tired from the same drive the previous evening for a Tech-in of props, lights, sound etc.  I wasn’t feeling too bad though.  I listened to the song I always listen to.  Like a prize fighter before a fight…getting myself pumped up – Genesis “Turn it on again” Live.l  This song has become the absolute necessity before a show.

I ran my lines.  They came out just fine.

Everything was fine.  Until my cast mate and I got to the dressing room and decided to run lines…again.  Here is where the catalyst for catastrophe began.  Maybe it’s my old brain, I don’t know, but going over the same ground felt like being on autopilot.  You know the road so well, you forget that you’ve just driven the last three miles, gone through two traffic lights and one stop sign.

Just like that, just before going onstage, the lines began to feel wispy, out of reach…just a little.

I was aware of it and should’ve followed my instincts and told my cast mate that it wasn’t necessary to continue with the lines but I didn’t.

(shoulda, coulda, woulda)

A good friend reminded me on Saturday night after the disaster that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  You see, the director mentioned trying to find a way to remove a certain prop from the table onstage.  I knew when I could do it and said that I would.  No big deal, right?  Turns out…HUGE DEAL…that was mistake no. 2…planting a suggestion into my already fertile mind that was ripe with so many words.

To be clear, I do not blame anybody…except myself.

Ok.  So, there I am.  In the wings.  Props?  Check.  Costume?  Check.  Nerves?  Check.  My stomach is churning, I’m grinning, I’m telling myself that I got this.  Once I get my first few lines out, I know I’m good to go.  Lights up….and off I went.

My opening monologue is very long and it’s as familiar as the tattoo on my wrist.  But one minute in, I grab the prop (a large can of tomatoes, btw) and suddenly, I am somewhere else in the script…without even realizing what I’ve just done.

(That’s the mentally scary part)

Something kicked off inside though…silent alarms rang.  There was a strange sort of splitting in two at that point.  One part of my brain desperately threw out whatever came to mind while the other part  searched frantically for the script….crazy hair, sweaty, glasses, hyperventilating me…until she just stopped, looked up and threw the script into the air with a horrified expression.  Papers fluttered to the floor of my brain.

And, oh my god, it felt like a fucking eternity.  Excuse my language.  But, it really, really did.  The lights were bright, the silence that yawned between my cast mate and me was made more humiliating only by its existence.  I kept brushing my hair, my hands were shaking and what I really wanted to do was disappear, to say “It’s all ruined and I have to go.” I even visualized myself walking off stage.

(I would never work in this town again)

Somehow, I managed to pull it together,  mumbled something inaudible and grabbed the purse prop, fumbled to open it and decided to find some point in the script to jump to and from.  I dropped the ribbon that came out of the purse and believed that the audience could see my entire body shaking as I bent to retrieve it.

After that, the two of us managed to put the play back together, but it was like a precious china plate that had shattered and even though the glue was holding its myriad of pieces in place, one touch and the whole thing would fall apart again.  And, when you looked closely, you could see the tiny shards that were missing, fallen into the carpet to be vacuumed up later.

I tried vainly to keep my character but she died on that stage.  For the remainder of the play (which had now been cut short by at least twelve minutes) I was doing my best to say my lines in the way I knew how, as the mean mother.  I questioned everything.  Did I just say the right thing?  Is this the line?  Is this the line in the right place?   The sweaty/glasses/hyperventilating part of me that had now calmed down a bit was on a mission to find out just what the hell had gone wrong, so she was no help at all.

We concluded the play.  I was embarrassed at my performance (or lack thereof) and horrified that I had put my young friend through such an ordeal.  Poor thing, I knew she was freaking out opposite me but there was nothing I could do.  I short-circuited…thwarted by a stupid can of tomatoes.

So.  Big sigh.

I’ve been selfish this weekend.  Licking my wounds.  Hammering out my dented pride.  Stunned at my sudden fall from high expectations.  Weeping at the loss of …. something.  I’m not sure what.  This is the first time it has ever happened to me and the cause wasn’t fright, it wasn’t nerves, it was doing something different, just one small thing.  I couldn’t bear to think about any of it really, until now.  It was raw and thinking of it made me feel sick to my stomach.

But, beating myself up hasn’t helped either.  In fact, it made me feel worse.  Anecdotes and tales from fellow actor friends didn’t really help either…although I am grateful for kind words in the face of something I *smacks chest* feel was just absolutely awful.  Spending time with my family, especially my husband who comforted me, then made fun of me, making me laugh, helped.  Getting out into nature in the cold and wind, even for a brief time, helped.

Big sigh.

My sails were knocked down but I’m going to hoist them back up again, damn it.  I’m strong.  And even though I’ve doubted my ability these past 36 hours, I know that I am good at what I love to do.  I will not cave into that side of me that wants to hide away.  I messed up.  Shit happens.  I’ll chase down this particular demon and beat him down just like others that have tried to usurp me.

(usurp?  cool!!)

Wow…I felt like this when I opened up my page…

…and now I feel like Artemis, the Greek warrior.  I got my bow, I got my arrows, I got my little Patronus charm

I am bigger and better than one stumble.

And if this is a test, I have learned enough, grown enough and overcome enough to pass it.

So fucking suck it.  Again, pardon my language but a little force it necessary at a time like this.

Lisa…