Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Extending a Lifeline

    Events circling around me, involving friends, made for a nocturnal visit to some old ghosts. It has been a little while since my last haunted night. This time, I felt more a spectator, not viscerally involved. I lay staring into the darkness, pulling ghosts out of my mind, turning them over in my hands, poking, prodding, pulling, waiting to feel a stab of pain, or even a dull ache. Instead there was only an understanding that I have walked away and began anew. I have deep empathy for my friend, and what she is going through, and wish there was more I could do or say, but all I know is the path that I took, am taking and know that we each have our own paths to travel. The best I can do is remain solid, understanding. What made me bring my ghosts out into the air is a realization that I have drawn that line in the sand. I have stepped up, made a conscious decision to voice my beliefs and feelings, without letting old, shriveled connections play a part. I chose a side, knowing it will likely be the final disconnect from a life I walked away from. It was a tenuous thread, a connection to friends who I do miss, but who have drifted away, or let me become the one who drifted away. Friends who are slipping into my past. There are so many situations in life where we must take a side, and often we think that we can remain neutral, but that too, is taking a side. Neutrality is the decision to turn away, pretend there is not a problem, hide our heads in the sand hoping it will all blow over. And it will, it will blow over. Everything will eventually resolve itself in one way or another even if we chose inaction. That is the way of nature, it is not static, it is not inert. Life goes on, time continues to tick past, changes will occur. But where we choose to stand effects the future. When the dust settles we see just where all the pieces landed. I could remain neutral, this is not my battle, but I know how it feels when friends step back, telling themselves "This is not my battle." I also know how it feels to have a few solid friends who did choose, who, although it was not their battle, offered me a lifeline, an anchor to sanity, solid footing in a chaotic, shifting landscape. Morally, ethically, emotionally, I know it is time to draw the line in the sand, to stand behind a friend, knowing this is severing that last thread, but also knowing that it is time to cut that thread. I cannot go back, will not go back, would not want to go back. Life is about stepping forward, stepping into the light, and extending a hand, a lifeline to bring friends through their own darkness.

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