I have been too honest with myself, I should have lied like everyone else
I have been aware of the importance of the feelings and worries of others most of my life. I was taught that most of the time others troubles are greater then yours. A flimsy Christian ethic to silence a moderately hyperactive child. It’s not been anyone’s fault; that’s just the way it’s been. You get used to it so it becomes your nature. Silence is good. No words of your own seem to make any difference anyway. Some people are better listening than speaking. You listen to the woes and you learn not to speak back because that’s how it works. Passiveness is easier in the long run. The eyes reveal so much, the movement of a hand, the shape made by lips. It’s another language. Even now to this day I worry about speaking out something personal. Having a voice can be so frightening, it is a weapon that can cure or kill. Yes, it can be that black or white. Humour is a good shield, a vessel for conveying a brave face when deep inside things are far from funny. Sometimes there is no other way.
Narcissists don’t do empathy. They do not relate to the burden they place on others with their tales of ever decreasing circles. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s not something that can be controlled is it? We are all entitled to opinions. Even if that makes you want to strangle them out of frustration. We can remind ourselves that it’s not meant but still it doesn’t always sit well. Even if you have the closest relationship with the person and believe to understand them completely there can still be a barrier. Even where the bond of unconditional love should override.
We are only one person in this life but we all have our different personalities, our strengths and weaknesses, the shy, the vain, the goody too shoes, the rebel, the straight A perfectionist, the caring, the honest, the humble, the impressionable, the rude, the opinionated, the selfish, the never wrong – we can be many of these things.
We can choose to walk away or we can choose to stay.
Some people will only listen to you if you are deemed ‘worthy’ and high up in the social ranking. Others are reluctant to share anything at all. And that is all OK. As long as you can accept the truth of what you are, it will give some insight.
But this is not always possible. Detaching from the ego is not always realistic.
Some shy away from you because they cannot handle not getting the response they want. Tough love doesn’t always work, especially on those who do not want to change. Being the victim is easy, being a survivor takes work. We have choices – no matter what and I truly believe that. Just because I have been an observer does not mean I have not lived or not felt. All those times silent no one heard the screaming. Feeling doesn’t always shout the house down.
Life wasn’t meant to be easy. No one owes you a living. But we all owe it to ourselves to have the best life we can.
My Great Grand Aunt
1880 – 1958
“To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don’t deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline
I fell, like I always do, to the waters below -although instead of crystal clear this time they were soapy and misted. I hit the frosted surface and felt the swoosh ripple through my body. Visibility zero. What is being told here? My hair felt heavy and movements we slower and more laboured then usual. Something grabs my hair and pulls me further down into the pool towards the dark. The light goes, it’s cold. Where am I being taken? The creature is quick and before I know it I am in brilliant sunlight. The water is crystal clear once more. The temperature is noticeably higher. I surface. I am alone. The river bank is in sight… It’s so very bright here, like a childhood summer memory. Do I have to come back?
The ancestors are very important to me. Those of the Land and of Blood. I have been pondering recently as to where I fit into my landscape. I have made no secret that where I live now doesn’t feel like home. I close my front door and I lock it out when it becomes too much. The noises, the rush, the alienation, the boredom. I raise the barriers. There are many different cultures in this town I live in, which gives it a great diversity. Everyone has opinions on how things happen. But it can feel like everyone is in their corner with their identity and I cannot answer the question: Where do I fit in? I have lived here for 9 years, that’s almost a third of my life but yet it still feels transitory. I cannot fit in into the philosophy of this place. Work sleep no play. The high street could be anywhere with its instantly recognisable chains and soulless design offering nothing new. Sales and bargains, latest and greatest. Bigger and better. Strive for perfection with us! The supermarket stocks every nations comfort food to get them through their lives here. Well British food is poor, right? We all plod passed one another like we are alone. The infrastructure daunts me. These streets were not trod by my ancestors. There’s no umbilical cord here. No bones buried in the soil. I am floating not grounded. I long for something else. And now I ask myself: Is that acceptable?
I wander and suddenly I find a pocket of wonder. In the forgotten shadows, where no one walks for fear of the unknown. A warming flush of breath. I can see it, the connection. In the still I move – something talks to me. It is there, a humming in the background, in the places the noises do not reach. And its beautiful.
But its not enough. The curtains come crashing back.
Is that wrong?
“Off to the right along their path, Pallas Athena sent a heron gliding down the night. They could not see it passing, but they heard its cry; and heartened by that fisher bird, Odysseus prayed ‘O child of Zeus who bears the storm cloud, hear me…. tonight, befriend me most, Athena….’ These were the prayers, and Pallas Athena, Zeus’ daughter, heard them.”
from The Illiad by Homer
When I think back, it never rained. On these days, the church spire reached proudly above the houses, the only thing higher was the fire ball sun.
Hedges, a fortress. Tomatoes and Marrows. Runner beans grow where the anderson shelter once stood. The land was utilised.
Beneath them – a trickle. Stand still and listen for it. Water everywhere.
On the edge of this big city, let me float with the babblng. The spring beneath feeds us all.
the flaming reds and muddy russets
golds and mustard marmalades
the rain blots out
charred like skeletons of branch now
our autumnal fire
the rain snuffs out
barren and hiding
the rain suspends
our evergreen soldier
can be seen stand guards
the rain caresses
nothing is forever.
This street I walk down, I’ve not seen for 10 years.
The street has changed, But then so have I.
Have we ever met before?