Friday, August 06, 2010
The weight of these sad times we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
Shakespeare said that. It's a quote I love, because it's honest. I adore Shakespeare for his honesty and truth-telling. He had a gift for that.
So truth-telling: We don't often do it because the stakes are too high. Case in point, I spoke freely and honestly about my pain at Dasha's leaving, and I got thrashed by someone I don't even know, telling me to 'suck it up and move on.' We risk those things when we walk out on the truth limb like that. But isn't it's still worth it? I think so. So I bare my soul here regardless, steel myself against the anonymous bitter trolls, and pray for God's blessing on my words and thoughts.
My daughter and I had a long talk in the car today. She asked me why I always do the hard things when ‘nobody else does’. I told her lots of people do the hard things, we just don't get to see it. She has a front row seat to my life, I reminded her, but not to the world's.
Anyway, she asked why so many people live their lives ‘like they don't even see anyone else.’ She asked why they fill up the air with 'words that really mean nothing'. If she were a little more savvy, I would have her read T.S. Eliot’s The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock. Maybe a few years from now that might do the trick. But for now, it takes patience and simplicity to help her understand. I explained that I thought most people were scared to venture out and change the world by risking pain. She argued that fear was a lame excuse. She's right. She will never understand the fearful, because she fought so long and so hard for most of her life. She doesn't have room for the concept of 'cowardly.' I love her for that.
But we talked and talked, and she starts to share moments that she felt were hard that she witnessed and how, at the time, she was mad at me for sticking my neck out. ‘ Remember that guy who punched his dog?’ She asked. ‘Remember how you jumped out of the car and chased him down the street?’ How could I forget? Just thinking of it brings up the rage. ‘Mom, he said he was going to kill you and I was mad that you didn't stop following him, ’ she added. ‘But now I get it.’
She continued while I listened intently. ‘Before I thought you didn't care about me if you did things where you could get hurt," She elaborated. ‘But now I know --some things are even more important than being safe.’ Powerful realization from someone who spent 12 years of her life just trying to stay alive. I was in awe of her growing awareness. My girl is getting it.
Yes, Nastia, some things are much more important than our safety, or our respect, or our happiness. Some things are more important than even preserving our own lives. I’m proud of you for knowing that. So proud.
So, onto my own truth-telling: My truth is I have been deeply distraught, depressed even, since Dasha left us. Nastia is not the only one who has been crying in her bed. It's been overbearingly difficult, and I haven't wanted to share just how much so. I hid, I hibernated. I didn't return calls, I didn't eat, I didn't even sleep much. I just felt this echoing black hole in my heart. I was almost glad of the distraction Nastia's recent new symptoms offered. Terrible thing for a mom to say, I know, but I’m trying to be honest here. I hated seeing her scared, but for the past two days my thoughts of Dasha have been on the back burner. It is easier to feel scared than sad, for me anyway.
So, I owe many people an apology -- my close friends who worry about me, my new friends who are working their butts off to help me raise money to go see Anya next month, my amazing staff, my neighbors, my landlord, my oil company, even my dogs. I let every one of them down while I swam circles in my dark ocean of tears and lamentations. I feel embarrassed even to talk about it. But that's exactly what I did. And I’m really sorry.
I'm Catholic, if you didn't know that about me already, and one of the things I have a love/hate relationship with in my faith is confession. I know I need it, I know it is healing, but I dread it like a child dreads the dark alone. I avoid it at all costs. I skirt around it. I deflect. We're all good at that, I guess, but I feel particularly good at that as of late.
My dad used to talk about the amazing feeling he had after going to confession. he said he felt a huge weight would lift from him. He felt free, younger even, when he left. He was right. It is freeing to confess things. It lightens us.
So, what is heavy on your heart tonight? What dark burden sits in your soul, waiting to be lifted? You don't have to be Catholic to go to confession. Find a friend. Find a tree even, or a field, or even the sky. Confess your pain and sorrow and watch it soar away on sprouted wings. Then? Watch the light in you break through.
Posted by Keri at 11:11 PM