Archive for September, 2013

A confession … or an excuse


My passion.  I keep it so wrapped up. I imagine it as a ball of aluminum foil locked away in a fireproof safe with a long forgotten password.  But the aluminum foil still picks up some type of electromagnetic signal from the atmosphere.  Now, I wish I had paid attention in science so I actually knew what I was rambling about.  

My passion is there — sizzling and tickling my brain.  It needs an escape, some type of pressure valve. I want relief. I want to be myself, but I no longer know how to achieve that.  I thought writing would be the answer but I believe it only antagonizes me because I am more aware of the passion I possess and I’m afraid to own it, be proud of it.  

Where do I go from here?


Soul Mate

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” Elizabeth Gilbert

She sits in the sand with her knees drawn and her chin resting on her arms. She stares at the waves, wishing they could carry away her loneliness and feelings of despair. These feelings are not foreign to her and she’s not even sure who she would be without them. 

The only person who would understand her melancholy has been absent from her life for twenty years. Even with two decades between them, her bond to him remains. At times she wishes she could sever the ties that bind her heart to him, but most times she clings to that bond as if it is a life preserver in a stormy ocean. She is afraid that letting go will erase his existence in her memory although his presence in her heart is gut wrenchingly painful. If she sheds the guilt and connection, then she feels her disloyalty to him will be complete. 

She has yearned for years to have someone she can talk to about their friendship. But the few times she has attempted to explain his importance and role in her life, she has failed miserably.  Truth is she has never fully understood the dynamics between them. She knows that they loved each other unconditionally and accepted each other in their “as is” conditions. They had an extraordinary psychic connection that allowed them to communicate without words, even over a telephone. In a lot of ways, their conversations were most raw, honest and in-depth when they were silent. They had a mutual understanding that they would never be lovers, but there was always heat and passion simmering between them. 

A touch of his hand on her cheek was more calming than a bottle full of valium. He truly centered her and she relished the freedom he gave her to be herself. He was her anchor, her protector. He was the one person that did not expect her to be a caretaker or problem solver. She was not afraid to lay her vulnerability in his hands. Somehow she knew she was his greatest treasure and he would do anything to keep her heart safe. That is why he reigned in and denied his desire to possess her. His internal demons could shred her and extinguish the inner light that radiated from her unknowingly but constantly. She knew he could sense the fear she had of succumbing to their connection.

Neither of them could have predicted the end of their friendship.  The tragedy that tore them physically apart unfairly allowed her connection to him to remain, but in fragments.  For him, he no longer knew she existed.  And as the salt water tickled her toes, she conceded that he was better off for it.

“That is how love relationship is meant to work,  each partner transforming the other. The strength and power of each is untangled, shared. He gives her the heart drum. She gives him knowledge of the most complicated rhythms and emotions imaginable. Who knows what they will hunt together? We only know that they will be nourished to the end of their days.”  Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D   Women Who Run With the Wolves

These words touch a part of my soul that I cannot easily describe or possibly even identify.  It seems to sum up my young and idealistic view of LOVE — everlasting love. I am no longer naive enough to believe that love alone can sustain a relationship, but I still like to dwell in that mindset when the everyday world pours doubt and hardship over me.  My experiences become soggy, like corn flakes  left to soak in milk for too long. The edges lose definition and the flavor seeps away.

At forty, there are still so many unanswered questions about life, relationships, self-image, family, etc. Where is that talisman of wisdom that we are to be granted as we age? Why does it seem that life becomes more complicated? I want to charge into a sophisticated, upscale department store and demand to purchase the nonchalance and free spirit I was certain I would be draped in when I hit forty.

I don’t want to care about the disdainful looks I get because of my overweight figure or the snide comments when I color my grey roots an outrageous burgundy.  I long to be comfortable in my skin — as marred, scarred and stretched as it may be. I no longer want to look in a mirror and feel disgraced by my many imperfections, but I want to be overjoyed and confident in my attributes.  

The one stumbling block I constantly trip over is the very cliche truth, “You must love yourself before someone else can love you.”  Once I overcome this, then perhaps I can share a heart drum with my husband for the rest of our days.  But I will let him do the hunting while I am breaking the mirrors.  

Stranger In Her Bed

She looks over at her sleeping husband. She soaks in his peacefulness and marvels how sleep can erase the lines of worry and wrinkles of time that normally define his face. She smiles at the white hairs that now dominate his goatee and thinning hair. She knows they have both changed a lot physically since their first kiss eleven years ago. The deep rise and fall of her husband’s chest assures her he has escaped the stress of his job and his numerous responsibilities to his family, at least for the next six hours. As much as she wants to envy his ability to shed the restraints of the real world, she is actually very grateful that he is granted this reprieve each night.

She knows the physical features of this man better than she knows her own; however, she cannot shake the feeling that she is sharing this bed with a stranger. She no longer knows his deepest desires or darkest fears. She no longer knows what to say or do to bring the twinkle back to his brown and blue eyes. She knows nothing of his current nightly dreams or even who he considers to be his closest friends. She may still know what foods to prepare him or which shirts he prefers to wear, but she is clueless about the emotions that must pass through him each day. 

Oddly, although she has lost touch with him in so many ways, she knows undoubtedly that her love for him has not diminished. It is that love that makes the distance between them so frustrating.

She knows the shielded emotions are not to hurt her but are in fact a way to protect her from worry and additional sleepless nights. She sadly smiles at his slumbering form as she realizes that their conversations focus on the boys and their schedules and schoolwork.  They share funny tales of their friends or laugh over the latest celebrity debacles. Her finger gently travels over his scruffy cheek and down to his sleep-slackened jaw as she tries to recall the last time they truly shared quality time alone. They have had several one-nighters when all the boys were away, but they only used the peace to catch up on sleep, not each other. She sighs heavily as she realizes that it has been seven years since they got lost in each other and allowed the other to glimpse behind their protective walls.

She peppers his shoulder and tattooed bicep with quick kisses as she prepares her own mind and body for sleep. Resting her head against his, she silently pleads to the universe, “Bring us back together. Let us use each other as our safe havens and not resort to silence and reluctant acceptance. Let us not repeat our past mistakes!”