Saturday, January 30, 2010

sunlight in caves


I am very quiet. Full of spinning dials and arrows. Trying to find the peace of mind and heart it takes to carefully open hands, hold still for so long, have the bird fly to your palm. I am observing, and taking care of my children. No matter how sad I feel, the phone still rings, Lola has Girl Scouts, Dakota wants to talk, Ian is here so what should we do it's Saturday and life goes on. I know my place in this Universe. I am not in my childhood, where I was terrified and helpless. I am not in Haiti, an orphan without my left arm, which was cut off without drugs. I am not Nie, recovering from my umpteenth surgery after being burnt head to ankle. I am not mourning. It is January, and it rains. Today it is sunny. My body tells me to sleep all day. Hibernation, the way of depression. I refuse. I have children. I have to move. I have to shower. I have to let life soothe me, and it cannot if I am cowardly and hide. I read about Elizabeth Edwards. I open the pages of many life stories in Borders, my children chattering nearby. There are so many answers in these books, these stories. Lives lived, priceless lessons learned, that I can read and absorb and use. But I have to read. I cannot have eyes clenched shut, no one will wake me up when it's over. That is adulthood. This is it. There won't be a do-over of my thirties, or a revision where instead of what I did is remembered, what I wished I had done is remembered. Walking to get coffee, the sun is on my face. I can see the blue sky. I have so much more than has been subtracted. This is a balance not kept for life. One day I will fall short, surely. I am not in negative. I have to find the way to create the life I want. It is up to me. No one else. I cannot let fear make decisions. The only way to have the life I desire it to insist on it's evolution every day. If I want to be close to my children, to have them love me and trust me, I must insist on balance in myself. I cannot be lazy. Children know everything. They know I am sad. But they will never believe I am standing on a cliff. They will never fear my snapping teeth or wolfish eyes. They will never see me helpless. I will never see myself that way. There is something I can do. I will do it. This way, no matter how bent my back is, the steps are taken, and that is what matters. Step forward. Step forward. It is the only way out- through. Standing still until it is over will only ensure that when I look around, I am exactly where I was when my eyes closed and my feet stopped. So I move. I read. I take my vitamins. I force myself to share when I want to be silent. I force silence when I want to be crazy. I force my body to move when I crave stagnation. I force prayer when I want self-pity. I force exposure here, when I would like to hide. I am the mother now. I am the adult. I am the one in charge. I am making it real.

illustration: Option-G
Terresa said...

Yes, I, too feel so much of this post, standing at the cliff's edge but realizing I'm the adult, snapping, wolfish & all.

It's nuts, this thing calling life and mothering and humanity. But it's what we have and is still, somehow, a crazy impossible gift.

Lola Sharp said...

You are on the right path Maggie.
My only advice is this:
Have FUN. Find the humor and the Joy...it kicks Fear's ass.
Sometimes I think we take things too seriously, trying to do right, that we lose the big picture...and the fun.

Get out of that damn cave and go get your frolic on. Laugh and play. You deserve it!

Being remembered for our easy smiles and easier laughter...and a lover of life, seems tome this is the best gift we can give our children, and ourselves.

love,
lola

Ms. Moon said...

You ARE the mother and you were born to be. We who were damaged so young have such a hard time believing in ourselves. I think that THAT is what we have to keep forcing ourselves to do. Just that- to believe in ourselves. It takes such work. We have to be strong when we don't think we are.
Oh Maggie. Somehow I just love you.

Irish Gumbo said...

From the other side of the continent, I feel that ache in my bones.

T.S. Eliot said that April was the cruelest month...but I'm inclined to January and February.

Keep moving forward. It is the Way.

Petit fleur said...

Keep moving Maggie. You're doing just fine!

Hey, I just started using Sovereign Silver... It is supposed to help with oxygenation and to boost immune system. Thought I'd mention it.

Peace,
pf

Woman in a Window said...

I wanted to choose one sentence to live by. Instead, I choose it all.

You live well. You show us all.

xo
erin

Annie said...

"The only way to have the life I desire it to insist on its evolution every day." Thank you for this post. I like your title, too- sunlight in caves. And I know you're going to make it through.

Beth said...

Living with the contradictions takes courage. You have it.

Kass said...

This is so much how I felt while I was raising my children in a terrible marraige, but I didn't write. I stuffed all my feelings inside and let them jangle my brain. I wish I hadn't felt so paralyzed, but somehow I got through it, pretty much how you are doing it. And my kids are really great people who trust my authenticity. Your right, kids pick up on everything. They are true barometers of our emotional state.

You are a very moving writer.

Elizabeth said...

You are beautiful.

I just read a truly great novel called Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. I think you might like it. A riveting story, Phillipe Petit, New York City in the 70s, prostitutes, heroin, holy men and women, Irish love. I just loved it.

SJ said...

As usual, I love it. The line about allowing life to evolve made me whisper it out loud, back to you. You've got such a way with words, Miss Maggie, and I'm so glad I found my way to them.

michelle said...

I hear you Maggie

Bethany said...

You showed this beautifully. What writing!
I hope it lifts for you soon.
I know you're trying your best.
Good for you. Such wisdom there.
Lots for me to take with me.
I can't even imagine trying to be a mother when this stuff hits.
A million gold stars to you.

Ashley Hawkes said...

Maggie, I love how poetically you are able to put into words what so many of us feel but don't even know where to begin. Depression can be so difficult to describe. Wow.

Dancing Branflake said...

Beautiful post. I don't feel like a grown up. You make it seem more glamorous though.

starrlife said...

I find such momentum in motherhood that I did not have before. It keeps me just as you describe- one foot in front of the other in times when all I want to do is lie down in a snowbank. Beautifully said, as usual.

red-handed said...

It's so much easier in the movies, when the main character wakes up one morning and has the epiphany and the music comes on loud and inspiring and he turns his life around in one magical, superhuman effort. I waited for *that* one all through my twenties.

Captain Dumbass said...

As much as we'd like to curl in on ourselves sometimes we have a responsibility to those little lives we created. At least you recognize it. Too many don't and end up infecting others with a whole new generation of demons.

YES Gallery + Studio said...

One of my favorite posts. Thanks. Life IS perspective and we get to choose it. You are a wise woman, Maggie! Within all your movement let there be moments when you can rest and be cared for in a way that nourishes and replenishes you. xo

Nancy C said...

It feels like that heavy lead blanket they put on you before dental x-rays, depression.

I feel you.

Just.Kate said...

That is the key, isn't it? Take a step, then another one. One day you'll look around and think, "Look at that. This is umpteen times better than surrendering back there. This here is worth something."

Thank you for daring to live, to strive, and to share it here.

just making my way said...

Oh, I so get this right now. Wanting the better, but also wanting to burrow in the covers and forget it.

One step. Right. One step in front of the other. I can't wait for the sun to get here.

thepausethatrefreshes said...

I will step forward with you, Maggie May. Oh, my feet don't want to. I keep trying to sidestep and sidestep when I'm not standing completely still, sobbing. Take my hand, we'll go forward.

Ida Nielsen said...

A beautifully written and very powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

The Diva said...

I love this. I am not a mother and I still love this. At 35, I'm just starting to realize that I am, in fact, a grown up. This was just beautiful to read.
I believe that you will move through this with beauty and grace.

Ellen said...

Your words today reflect what I have often felt...especially in regards to my relationship with my mother. I can choose to wallow in her negative relationship with me or I can be above her and not let it get to me. It is my destiny and not anyone's else's to take away or bend. Thank you for a great post today...

Lisa McGhee said...

Oh Maggie........Your writing... Such emotion..... Such grace.... You my dear,.... Are an "old soul" ....... Keep moving!

Amie said...

Thanks for writing this. It is beautiful and honest and I relate to so much of it.

Evangeline said...

So incredibly well said.

I get this feeling, I get every millimeter of it.

Bee said...

Last week I just wanted to comfort read as much as possible. Always we strive for balance, right? Giving yourself what you need (without being self-indulgent or self-destructive) and balancing that with what you owe others.

There is a phrase circulating around: Writing is the new praying. I always think of it when I read your brilliant, emotional, insightful thoughts.

modaspia said...

so satisfying to read you, to have someone put it to words. i have to run out and get the book you've recommended by the way.

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...

Oh man, I LOVE this! You put into words what is in my own head and heart (and do it with far more poetic beauty than I could).

Lacey said...

I love your strength, your self-awareness, and your ability to get it all out in words that make me feel like you're inside my head.

yolanda said...

i am with you, my maggie. i understand.

amor
amor
amor

your yolanda

Phoenix said...

Beautiful, honest, perfect. This post was absolutely perfect, stunning. I am so touched.

trinsch said...

this is so true. every word. to some extent i am there. thinking these sorts, pushing myself forward. but there are times where i really wish i wasn't the adult, the one in charge of creating the life i want.

so, thank you, you said it so well. one step forward.

krista said...

sometimes i am so amazed that i am the one in charge. that i am the adult.
but i figure i owe it to her to at least do that much.
you're such a treasure, by the way.
xo

Terri said...

where have you been all of my (blogging) life? your honesty is refreshing and beautiful.

yours in hibernation, and your newest fan,

Terri

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Oh man, don't I know this only ALL too well. Abusive childhood, hard life, testing my limits, not trusting myself for a second to be able to do anything correctly, depression, not sure what to do, not feeling worthy. All of it.

You are wonderful, and I only hope someday we can actually meet.

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