Sunday, May 15, 2011

crumbled and transparent...

I stood at the very end of the pier.

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.


  1. What a glorious post!!
    (I used to be a victim, too.)
    You go, girl! :):)

  2. such strength in that simple, light movement - tossing those papers into the sea. the sea is so big, so willing, so able to take it all in - bare it all into the abyss. gone.

    enjoy your freedom. and, if one evening soon - the incoming tide of emotion and old habits nudges you,laps at your feet and whispers to you to reach into the sea and take one of those back, be strong again, step safely to the shore. the sea with its ebb and flow will do the rest.


  3. Welcome back Nancy!!
    Awesome post.

  4. You are stronger than you think. : )

  5. I like writing things down and burning them. Ash and sparks are less polluting (I like to think). I like your method, though! More poetic.

    I'm glad you're doing good! And that was a jerky thing for D to say. Don't let the turkeys get you down. ;-)

  6. I do that with all my woes written on a paper like a letter and then I do the "message in a bottle" thing. I like to think that when and if someone finds the bottle by then all my worries will be gone.

  7. @ Rita - Thanks Rita! Ex-victims unite! YOU go girl too! :-)

    @ Kim Williams ` I abosolutely LOVE your advice. AND the way you said it! So much so that I wrote it down on a card and taped it to my wall in my office. THANK YOU!

    @ Possum - Thanks darlin''s GOOD to BE back! I've started writing stuff in the last months, but never finished anything. Kindof ran out of the thought, or steam or whatever. But I FEEL it here I am! (glad you're still here!)

    @ Angelina - I know I am. Thank you. And with all you at my back there is no way that I can forget it. THANK YOU.

    @ Marvin - I might try your method in the future (as I don't live on the ocean although I suppose the lake would do...) It was an unkind thing for him to say, but not out of character I suppose. I guess I always thought him to be a better man than he was. Ah, my undying optimism.

    @ JennAdventures - I've ALWAYS writen stuff down, but I've never disposed of anything before. Fact is, I didn't really PLAN on doing this particular just kindof happened. But it felt so good I KNOW now it will become a regular routine for me when things get to heavy for me to carry.

    Thanks guys...for being here!
    AND for your comments.


  8. Hey, this really is easier than making all of those voodoo dolls of people who have done me wrong, isn't it?

    Glad to see you back.

  9. I love the idea of writing that mind mumbo jumbo down on bits of paper, and tossing them. I usualy have to write down my issues or else they will not stop bouncing in my head and creating havok!!! Once I do, then I'm no long dealing with that thought and I can move on. Even better is to throw them into the ocean!

    Thanks for showing me I'm not the only one!!!

  10. Thanks for such an inspirational post. Glad to hear you've reclaimed yourself...

  11. Welcome back - and what a stunning bit of writing to your created to greet us with... If getting rid of those clinging "resentments" were as easy as scribbling them down on paper and toss them into the sea.

    So many "what coulda-shoulda's" would be in the foamy wake of the receding tide.

    I hope this ... elegant entry marks the turn of the tide for you - and that what you yearn for comes in on the next incoming tide.

  12. Beautiful post. It actually made me feel clean and lighter ... YOU ARE PERFECT :)

  13. @KFred - Thanks for your welcome back!
    And yes, it probably IS much easier than the voodoo dolls, but those are somuch more FUN! :-)

    @ Travel & dive girl - Thank you, as always...

    @Intense guy - Speaking of elegant writing, I believe your poetic comment is right up there! I love the visual of wouldas/shouldas/and couldas trying to surf the waves! :-)

    And truly? Yes, it did work. Obviously I could pull a few out for example in the piece, but they don't hurt. It's just words now.

    (thank you by the are TOO kind in your compliment!)

    @Debbie - Thank you Debbie! I do so appreciate your comment. It's the support system that I have in place, people like you, that make everything A-OK. Thanks! :-)


  14. First I must say the D's comment was a ridiculous statement he used to make you feel badly when there is absolutely not reason for you to feel badly. I am happy for you that you have dropped your baggage and have arisen from the ashes...a beautiful new start. Your wording in this post is simply lovely. I think this might be my very favorite of yours yet!

  15. This is so invigorating to read! Good for you to toss your burdens over the edge and move on!

  16. what a wonderful symbolic act. and even more wonderful that it made you feel free. you've been through a lot, but it seems you're surfacing again stronger than ever!


  17. So good to see you are in a good place now Nancy. The biggest hug ever and look for the ebbing of the tides to carry you forward. {}

  18. Thank you for taking us on your cleansing walk. You have been able to grow from your past. I commend you. This post inspires me to let go of issues that weigh heavily on me. I think I have to do it in pieces though for now.

    I've missed reading your words, it's nice to see you back.

  19. As I read this post, I felt my spirits rising with yours. Well done, my friend!

  20. What an awesome post. Congrats on being able to let go of all of that. That's much easier said than done.

    Glad to have you back.

  21. It took me long to read this one, but I am so glad I did - your words made me are so full of life!
    OJ from CastaZero (can't use my blogger account to post, litle glitch in the blogger matrix)

  22. So inspiring... You've done a great deal


Do it. Do it NOW!