Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Only Winter

    I am glad of my hat today, so I can hide the vulnerability I know must be so apparent in my eyes to anyone who bothers to look. I know what it is. It is fear. Fear of the encroaching winter with its cold, grey days, long frigid nights, and the demons that seem to thrive in such a climate. Reminding me too easily of past winters that were cold, dark, and achingly lonely. Fear that I may have said too much, or too little. Fear that I am heading down a path destined to circle me right back to where I was before, back to my strange aloneness, my solitude. Fear that history will repeat itself. I fight the urge to flee, retreat, hide, protect myself. I feel a chink opening in the armor I have worked so hard to construct, allowing my vulnerability to rise to the surface, leaving me open to a coup de grace.
    Brain assures me that the fears of today are merely vapors rising off the surface of fatigue, sleeplessness, restlessness. Brain knows how easily I become fragile, brittle, vulnerable, especially at this time of year, and even more so when I have started to inch my way out on a limb. Brain has kept me reined in quite well these last few months, despite my Leap Before I Look nature, urging caution, maturity, some iota of restraint. Maturity and restraint, it almost makes me laugh. But it has not been easy, and is likely a causal link between restlessness and fatigue, as I try to do too much in too little time.
    As is my nature, I flay myself open, looking for forensic evidence, the root of my angst. Honestly, I cannot readily identify the cause.  As always, there is some stress to life, but it is negligible. I am content with myself, happy with myself, not reliant on anyone else to reach a state of bliss. Brain, Body, and Spirit are all healthy and happy. I am not looking down the barrel of a long, cold, winter alone, instead I have found a possible kindred spirit, Heart is happy. So what then? Everything is falling so neatly into place, smooth and sweet.
    Is it just the coming of the cold? Could it be so simple a trigger? But the Cold reminds me so much of my first winter in my little home, when the nights were freezing, and I was struggling to fight clear of the abyss that nearly claimed me. Cold, dark, alone, exhausted, tormented by demons. I begin to think that my fear is linked to the cold, fear of finding myself returned to that bleakness, PTSD being triggered by cold hands and feet. But I am much more than I was then; more confident, more self assured, more resilient, stronger. Since then I have reclaimed my sense of self, my  integrity, my sense of self worth. I have healed myself, and come through scarred but strong, solid, balanced. If it is just the cold, then there are remedies for that; a blazing fire, hot tea, warm hands, warm heart. My fear is unfounded, it is not the abyss looming, it is only winter.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


    Ssshhhh. Be very still. My demons are stirring. I hear them, restless, drowsy murmurings, soughing, unintelligible whispering. I feel them skritching at Brain with icy talons, poking Heart with bony fingers, blowing on Spirit with dank breath. Familiar little bastards, with their familiar little games. If I am calm, quiet, still, then they may fall back asleep, return to somnolence, leave me be. So be still my heart, be very still.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lead With My Chin

    Like a punch drunk boxer, I lead with my chin. It is a fatal flaw, one that I can't seem to train myself out of, no matter how I self-coach. It does go hand in hand with my leap-before-I-look personality and impetuous nature. I wade in, head high, fists up, heart pounding, waiting for the knock out punch, hoping I can deflect it. I had vowed that I would protect myself better this time, keep my defense strong, chin down, eyes up, lead with my left. Instead, here I am, chin high, misty-eyed, heart on my sleeve, Spidey-sense tingling a warning that I am about to get clobbered. But do I back down? Throw in the towel? Beat a hasty retreat? No. I duck and feint, tell myself that a little fancy footwork will get me through to the next round, suppress rising panic. I often feel like I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, that I shouldn't even be in the ring, but here I am, shaky, queasy, nervous, in over my head. Not that long ago I had vowed that I was done with the whole thing, I was too battered, too drained, too often sucker-punched. But I am the ragged, old fighter that keeps thinking that all I need is one more chance to prove myself a winner, the champ. One last chance to be on top of the world. It is the eternal optimist in me. "You lead with your heart, strong and true, loyal to a fault." Lead with my heart, far more painful and potentially devastating than leading with my chin, but the only way I know. The punch drunk boxer, battered and scarred, yet defiant and stubborn. It is the only way I know. Terrifying as it is, I lead with my chin.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Custom Build

    I am beginning to view my life as a custom kit. A box full of parts to be sorted, polished, fit together, sometimes retooled to fit, sometimes discarded all together as damaged or just plain wrong. It has been a long, arduous, knuckle busting build. At times I think that the fates have tossed in random pieces, just to watch me wrack my brain trying to make something fit that really just doesn't belong. And I know the fates have stolen a piece here and there, letting me search fruitlessly until I come to the realization that I will either need to do without, or make shit up. And time and time again, I think I have all the pieces laid out in logical order, ready to be wrenched together into the masterpiece I know it will be, when someone comes along and upends my workbench, scattering the pieces of my life all over the concrete floor. So I start over, laying pieces out, polishing, beating out dents, searching for loose screws and lost bolts. I really feel like I have most of the pieces at hand. Some are solid, oiled and ready, already working for me. Other pieces I am holding, turning over in my hands, polishing up the rough spots, eager to see how well they fit. Some things slide into place with ease, others need a little body English. I think I have discarded most, if not all of the pieces that weren't meant to be, though I am sure I will find more tucked into corners, or dropped suddenly into my lap. Yes, there will always be pieces to add, tune up, change out, but I think my custom build is starting to look real sweet.