Monday, December 17, 2018

Where fore art thou?

I'm here.

And I've got a lot to say.

I've been reading my posts from the last few years and sometimes I wonder who wrote that? It's pretty good sometimes, heartfelt, reaching out, curling in, introspection, new direction, where is that girl?

I read something recently that said to live in private, grieve in private, love in private, basically just keep it to yourself. I get that. It makes sense. And for all my outward joy and grief and thinking out loud I am a private person. However, I also like to think that when we give a little glimpse into our private soul we set a flag out for someone else to follow. Maybe that bit of angst will make it easier for another person to get through their angst that day, to know that they are not alone.

I have a very small and very special few in my life who I've learned to trust. Trust doesn't come easily to me, or rather I want to trust people so much and have learned from vast experience that we must learn to protect ourselves.

How do we walk that thin line between being open and closed? I don't really think it's the same all the time. As a highly sensitive person emotionally I tend to close up in public, mostly to block out the unwanted intrusions of anger and sadness that can both draw me in and leave me feeling beat up and thin. It's a self preservation mode that I find necessary. I'm easily distracted by children and dogs though, their sweet selves aren't much of a drain and in fact can be a boost to my energy levels.

What's with dogs anyway? Some dogs I cannot stay away from but some I don't even want to look at. They're usually the pushy frantic ones or the needy ones. I live with a needy dog but his heart is so kind and caring he fills me up with joy. His need is mostly for fun and he just cannot understand why we aren't always wanting fun like he does. He's also the one with his head on my foot, hiding underneath my desk as I work, wanting to be close, until the hammering starts, then he's gone.

Veering off into something new, as usual. It's like a commercial break when the thinking is hard.

Those few in my life remind me that it's okay to be open, even if only in small amounts and with a very small group. They are my safe place. I never had a safe place growing up and so learned to keep my true self pretty well hidden. Later I had a daughter and she once said that she felt I was her safe place, a place to unload, to be awful, to be able to be sad and lost and needing reassurance. That was and is one of my best memories of being a Mom. To be someone's safe place is both terrifyingly difficult and uplifting in the highest sense.

I'm pondering safe places in the aftermath of a huge fire 40 miles away from me, knowing it so easily could be me and finding a bittersweet joy in my home, that fragile collection of things. I grieve for my neighbors who have lost so much, even their lives and saw a video of a woman who had lost everything but was eager to get back and rebuild her home and town. What an incredible spirit!

My home is the place I can do and be anything. I can dance or sing or talk to my animals. I can be open to the sky and the trees. I can meditate on the stars and skip happily around the yard. It's my own jewel box of comfort and feeling good. I invite only those special people in who fill my well with grace and kindness and sometimes witty, wicked conversation. How would I feel if it was gone?


A couple of years ago there was a fire in my backyard, which happens to be a state park. I wasn't here but the flames were quite close and the walking trail is still scorched and black, with dead trees and the brush starting to regrow. I was only concerned with getting my old kitty out safely. And in the back of my mind I was rebuilding, planning, thinking of how I'd like to live if I could start from the ground up.

That's what we do, we rise from the ashes, we create safe zones for ourselves and act as safe places for those special folk we love. We endure and rebuild and we never give up.


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