Sunday, May 15, 2011
crumbled and transparent...
It was early, way before sunrise and I was alone.
Grasping the handrails, my fingers felt the grooves of the many hands that had stood there before me over the years. This was a fishing pier, one that protruded well out into the ocean to get to where the fish were no matter what the tide schedule. I gazed at the dark water. There was nothing as far as I could see. No fishing boats, no lights from large ships…nothing. Just the hint of the sun on the horizon.
I turned to my right and looked down the beach. Far off in the distance was a lone figure was walking with a dog in the haze of pre-dawn light. To my left just an open stretch of beach wet from the tide retreating leaving little lumps of jelly fish to dry when the sun rose.
This island is my happy place. It’s a zen place for me. It is my daughters namesake. It’s a place that I feel entirely at home, comfortable and peaceful. I know nothing in the world can really trouble me while I’m here. Nothing. No world news; no word from home; nothing can penetrate the positive vibe that surges through my soul while I’m here in this place.
When I last saw D to wrap up some business issues, I had just returned from a skiing trip. I was rested, happy and my skin had a golden glow from being high in the mountains. I felt good and I looked pretty good too. Shadow came over his face and instead of saying anything positive he said, “You mean, you were skiing while all those people were dying in Japan?”
Yep. I was. How thoughtless of me.
I resented his comment. I tried to shake it off, but instead of a “I’m glad you are happy and enjoying life.” I got more criticism and negativity. It got under my skin and bugged me.
But when I'm here, it can't get to me. Nothing can.
When I’m here, I'm safe.
I like to walk. And I enjoy to walk the beach. I prefer the mornings before others come down. In the morning, this is my beach. This is my pier.
My time walking is spent in silent reflection. When I get back to the cottage I usually jot down my thoughts. If I put it down on paper, it allows it to get out of my head and I can sort it out later. If left to bounce around in there, it can create havoc and mayhem. There is a large pile collecting of these random thoughts, written down on scraps of paper all wadded up in a bowl, right next to the oranges.
My pocket is full of all these scraps of paper.
I dig down deep into my faded jeans and grab a handful. I held them out over the edge of the railing. I struggled inwardly. I’m fearful. There’s a part of me wants to hold on and keep them. I quickly decided that yes, I needed to do this. I must. I extended my arm as far out away from the railing as I could, and then….I let them go.
The crumbled bits of paper flit this way and that as they made their way down to the roiling water below, immediately becoming transparent and disappearing into the surf. One piece blows back onto the boardwalk and rustles there in the breeze hanging on to the weathered wood. I strain my eyes in the low light to read the writing. “Resentments” is printed in bold letters across the top with several lines in script below it. Including the last comment from D. I eyed it carefully, leaned back to get a good angle and then nudged it with my bare foot and pushed it over the edge. It clung to an upright post just below the decking, fluttered for a moment…and is then was gone. Out of my eyesight and into the blackness below.
These small pieces of paper hold all that has troubled me. All things bottled up that need to dissappear. There is stuff from as far back as I can remember. Small things and big things, there is no differentiation. They range from the continued grief of my moms passing, to my decision to not pursue medical school, to failed relationships. From bad decisions made to stupid drama. All the things that I wish I could do over but can’t, all the things I wish I'd said but didn't. All of my pains, my fears, the that crap that has managed to dig into my psyche with its negativity.
I wrote it all down.
On little pieces of paper.
Which I shoved into my jeans pocket this morning before leaving for my walk.
I literally…let it all go. And it felt good. I felt relieved. I felt lighter. There were no burdens still clinging to my shoulders bearing their weight down on my soul. Nothing but the gratitude that I was standing here. In my spot. On my pier. On my island.
When going through my divorce my estranged husband would say to me, “Stop being a victim.” I hated it. I think that he knew it as well, which is why he said it so often. I hadn’t chosen that path. I had no hand in what was being dealt out to me. I was just trying to keep my head up and breathe.
I realize now that I had unknowingly become a victim. And have somewhat remained there for all these years. I have allowed my capricious happiness to lie in the hands of others. I have pondered what I may have done differently if given the opportunity for a re-do. But I believe that the burdens of heartbreak has made me who I am today. And I like that person. She's wise. So yeah….if I had be there again, I’d say,”Bring it.”
My father used to tell me, “A mistake is worth making if you learn from it. If you repeat it, then the fault lies within you.”
All those mistakes?
All those faults?
All those resentments, fears, and emotional baggage is lying with the fishys in the ocean.
And as I watch my woes disappear into the waves, I know that I have finally entirely reclaimed myself. I want to bottle this euphoria and stay here forever. But I know I can’t, I’ve got things to return to. My home, my dogs, my job…there are responsibilities at home that I cannot shirk. I walk the five miles back to the cottage to find my daughter still asleep. I stand over her and look down into her face. It is beautiful, peaceful, and serene. Her innocence is apparent on her perfect, rosy complexion.
I want to wake her; to hug her; to hold her. I want to tell her how wonderful I feel. But I let her sleep. She’ll wake soon enough, and then we'll talk.
It’s a beautiful morning. It’s a beautiful world.
And as for me…?
I have a beautiful new life. With memories, yes...but no baggage to hold them to draw me down. They be all gone.