Tag Archives: alone
memory I miss you. As I say it, a multitude of people run through my head. I can see faces frozen from moments in time that our souls touched. I feel the emotions of that moment for an instant. I can latch onto them, but it feels like grabbing a cloud. Trying to hold them makes me feel their absence even more. The people that trapse through my memory are in tiers. The first round are those I miss more acutely. I see my kids. I remember the moments of tension and separation. I see moments in time of intense love. I feel the love despite the hostility. I see the love in good times and bad. I can feel it. I long for it, and I mourn its loss. I try and grasp it and I grasp at the giggle, like trying to hold color. I see lost loves. There are distant ones and recent ones. I can feel the connections and the laughter. I can feel it all over again and I hear the voice that explains why we couldn’t stay together. The soft echo of the inner critic whispers that I will never find a lasting love. I hope it isn’t true, but part of me is resigned to capturing the fleeting moments. I see old friends. Friends that stayed, friends that left. I see a journey of friends, some for a reason, some for a season, and a few for a lifetime. I long for those moments of kindred spirit. I don’t know how to make friends like that anymore. When I was a kid, you just asked if you could play whatever game and suddenly you had a new best friend. I tried that a few times as an adult. “Hey, I see you are doing that thing you do, want to be friends?” Heck, there are internet groups that try and foster that very thing. Meetup groups all over the world beckon the adult to make friends based solely on a common activity. I’ve joined several and soon I will go to an event, perhaps. The adventure after divorce is a fascinating one. I spent a long time being deliberately single. I heard the advice that I needed to like myself. I declared I was dating myself for a while and set out to understand and enjoy myself. It worked pretty well. I could be alone without being lonely, for the most part. I came close to living with a few women. I freaked out. I liked my routine. I wanted to be with someone and I wanted to not be with someone. I didn’t know how to be with someone and not completely sacrifice and forget who I was. I wanted to not stagnate again. I wanted to continue to grow and thrive in the newness of each day. I wanted to rejoice at this new day. I just don’t know how to do that. I’ve never had it. Heck, I’ve never seen it. How do you capture a Unicorn? I miss true relationship and I’ve never had it.
I am afraid. I have been afraid much of my life. I can feel the talons of the bird of prey digging into my flesh. It tears at my flesh and digs for more. I had got so used to fear that I would call on the four horsemen of the apocalypse in order to feel at home. I almost felt like being in fear was home. It was awful but at least I knew it.
There are two parts of my psyche. One is the hare. He is fast. He pretends to be fearless. He is brass. He wants to get to the destination as soon as possible. He is very smart and operates his life lost in his brain. The other is the tortoise. He is cautious. He trudges. He is humble. He is aware. He takes his time to see the journey. He lives from his heart.
They line up at the starting line. I look down the race course and off to both sides are large black birds. They are different sizes. The seem to just be sitting there, ignoring the slight breeze ad the sweltering heat. The starting gun goes off and the two contenders start the journey. The rabbit darts off, tasting the win. As he passes the first bird, he fears that maybe he isn’t really as fast as he thinks he is. The black bird on his side of the road grips his back with large talons. It screeches and hollers. The rabbit tries to ignore it and hopes it will go away. He runs faster, and the bird digs in deeper. As the rabbit runs, the fear of failure overcomes him and a second bird grabs hold. It screeches. It digs in, grabbing flesh. Again, the rabbit feigns strength and ignores the pain. False bravado spills from his mouth between hastily taken breaths. He feels alone and isolated and thinks that he will not be loved again since he has such fears. The next bird latches on. The next and the next. The birds screech so loud, the rabbit is skittish and runs without direction. He is lost and doing the wrong thing over and over. He wonders in the forest, afraid of being alone. More birds grasp his flesh. The fear consumes his energy, his resolve. He is smothered.
The tortoise begins his trudge. He walks with purpose. He trudges the road. He passes the first bird and it latches on to him. He addresses it and tries to learn about it. He questions it and understands it. He lets it ride on his shell and the bird seems to shrink and melts into a different color. It flies away. The next fear is larger and more foreboding. It screeches and makes a fuss. The tortoise pauses in agitation, doubtful. It moves forward. The bird lands on him. It carries him away. The tortoise clings to the fear. It panics at the thought of being dropped. It embraces the fear and feeds it to keep it strong enough to carry it. The tortoise suddenly begins to understand that floating in the talons of fear isn’t much of a life. He hears a voice that reminds him if he doesn’t feed the fear, it will weaken. As it weakens, maybe it will land and leave. It does and the tortoise find himself back on a different path. The journey continues in a whole new way. The fear is gone. There will be more. He can pause. He can panic. He can confront. He can accept and ask for help. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather how you work through it.
I oscillate between the two racers. I feel better and like myself so much better when I am the tortoise. However, I still think about winning the race, proving myself fast and important and worthy. I end up lost in the wilderness, far from any journey at all. I fear being alone and my fear leaves me alone. When I pause, I live as a tortoise.