This morning I split wood and it felt good. It’s going to be hot and humid but it’s the Fourth of July so bring it on. In October when it’s frost in the morning I want to remember what is felt like to sit in my shorts and sweat. My wife and I finished the last two pieces of her strawberry-rhubarb pie and we are having tea. It’s too early for lunch. I am up, I am breathing, I am healthy, and we are doing well. Twenty-nine years married next month, three kids grown and out in the world doing their lives just fine, it’s just the cat and the dog and us at home now. It is going to be a lazy, laid-back long holiday weekend. Chicken on the grill later, and a couple of beers.
As I was sitting in my study this morning writing my daily “Morning Muse”, I was looking for a notebook to write in. I picked up the red spiral notebook next to me. It was filled. It was one of my journals, in fact the last of my daily journals that I kept for many years. I probably have ten or more spiral notebooks just like this one, in various colors, the kind we had in school back then, one for each subject.
I opened it and July 2012 was there, staring me in the face. I read, and remembered. It was hard to imagine that was just one year ago. I was in a bad place, and I was writing to save my life.
Another morning in never-never land, where’s Peter Pan, from the fire into the frying pan, someone please turn down the heat, for Christ’s sake, we don’t own stock in the electric company, but that’s the way it is in our little town, just a little better than the Jones’s, so smart, so what, it’s just another lie anyway because it’s coming from the wrong place.I guess it’s pretty obvious that I was still caught in the struggle that some occasionally find themselves in at periods in their lives. The few recent diaries posted on dKos came to mind, and then the thought came to finally share part of my story. I don’t think we as a culture place value on personal struggles that take place in our interior lives. It’s dark and mysterious and scary and unpredictable stuff. It’s a lot easier to watch TV.
I don’t know about you but I am either pissed off or heartbroken, why does God do this, anyway, all this talk about relationship and the most dysfunctional of all is one that has no substance, apparently, as cruel as that sounds, we are left to flounder here, learn, and then accept that God was/is/will be with us?
There was an obituary in this week’s paper. A young man of twenty-one, just finishing college, just off to his stepping out into the world on his own after a gifted education, just after talking with his family, just like that – took his life. No signs, no warnings, nothing. Suicide is rampant in our military, especially among combat veterans. Many just quietly endure, facing each day as best as they can.
I used to be angry at God, now not so much just tired and flat and just here, there, and everywhere scattered like seed without a clue, left to the wind, left to the vague notions of Nature and chance. Once there was magic and purpose but that wasn’t the point after all – just another illusion, sad, strange, nothing but an empty paper bag left in the rain.I suppose that I just wanted to share a few things I have learned during my struggle to recover a sense of Self: (1) There is another day. There is another breath for you to take. (2) Find a healer, someone who is skilled in his or her healing modality - holistic, shamanistic, homeopathic, prescriptive, analytic, whatever makes sense to you. There are gifted professionals out there. Keep looking until you find this person, the one who is right for you. When you find them, stick with them. (3) Read - read as much as you dare. (4) Write, draw, sing, sculpt – just express what you are experiencing, even if it only for your own private moments of release. (5) Find a place in Nature that nourishes your soul and go there, as often as you can. (6) Be patient. Healing and growth are not linear processes. There will be good days and bad days. Celebrate the good days and survive the bad days. (7) Be fearless, even in the midst of fear. (8) Consider the truth that the Universe has a heartbeat that speaks to life, even yours. Gain a spiritual perspective and nurture it, as often and in as many ways as possible.
Flat, tired, left by the side of the road, somewhere in a different place, without direction, lost, alone, wondering, but at least I am alive if not the person I thought I was after all, I thought I was somewhere else on this planet, someone else, but that person was not real, and that person is not here anymore.
That’s just what happens, and now the person that is here is a stranger, someone who does not have a name, someone who is uncertain, the map was not the map I thought it was, so now I have only a small voice, a voice looking for a voice in a big room full of noisy people.
I still have a voice but sometimes the voice cannot speak, there is fear and anger and doubt and shame and darkness and nothing makes sense there is no thread of mystery and deep, deep stillness that breaths with my voice in all the noise there is no voice that makes any sense at all sometimes.
So I will speak to the emptiness and chaos and confusion in my small, uncertain voice, in my shallow and scattered voice, in my uncertain sense of who is speaking I will speak to the confusion and chaos and emptiness and darkness and say that I am still here, even if I am hard to find.