Sunday, November 24, 2013


    Though I have found it in my heart to forgive, I cannot manage to forget. My own self esteem has been shattered so often I realize that it is brittle and easily cracked. I try to remain solid, strong, impenetrable, but when my heart thaws and opens up I become vulnerable again. I had thought that with acceptance and forgiveness I would find inner peace, and at times I have. But too often there is turmoil, fear, doubt, insecurity. The result of so many scars. Yes, I am proud of my scars, they show that I am a survivor, but scar tissue can be fragile and easily torn. I do my best to protect these scars, shelter them, cradle them tight against my chest, keep them from harm. But it is not my nature to remain closed off, cold, hard. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I do not hide my emotions well, except for the painful ones, those I hide very well indeed. There are moments when painful emotions will damn near bring me to my knees, but I bottle them up, stuff them down my own throat until I nearly choke. I don't want people to think me unbalanced, fragile, insecure, damaged, flawed. It is so much easier when people think I am intimidating, tough, invulnerable. But to open up, be myself, relax, allow the inner me to be seen, and hopefully understood, is almost more than I can manage. It is terrifying. My past does not give me great hope that sharing the real me will end in anything but the need for damage control. Am I fatally flawed? Not enough? Too much? For once, just once, I would like to be just right, enough, the one. I know it is the darkness and chill of winter speaking, channeling cold, dark thoughts through me like a charlatan soothsayer speaking in tongues. But winter or not, I fight the urge to hide away, armor my heart, close myself off, protect myself. But I won't. It is not my nature, truly. Instead I will flay myself wide and await what will come. Trembling with fear of what may come, but knowing that someday I will be enough. Someday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Me, Right Here, Right Now.

    Today was a series of events, small snapshots of happy, reminders of joy, tasty tidbits of life. Throughout my day I was reminded of how fortunate I am to be me, right here, right now. My day was a series of positive interactions with the people that surround me. From the everyday "good mornings," simple smiles from coworkers, jokes, teasing, light banter, to the crazy adorable little towhead shopping with her big, biker daddy as he let her make her own selections, paying with dollars from her little, black leather, studded purse. Her seriousness during the purchase, him gently coaxing, yet allowing her to be "in charge," was a tender reminder that there are sweet, kind people out there, everywhere, in all shapes and sizes. It was a dark, gloomy, typically rainy fall day here in the glorious Willamette Valley, rain pounding on the metal roof, and sheeting down the windows. At one point, my my coworker comes bursting out of her office into my workspace, points at the small, high window behind me and yells, "Look! The Sun! Oh my god!" Then scampers back to her office giggling. I turned, the sun was beaming, and I had to laugh. Such interactions are invaluable in times such these, times when the whole world seems rife with chaos, and teetering on the brink of a global abyss. For years, I have been saying, "In times like these we need to be kind to each other." But for so long I was in an environment where it seemed I was the only one who made the effort. Now my life abounds with people who believe in the power of kindness, the power of laughter, the power of love.
    To be me, right here, right now, living in the moment, feels as if I have "arrived." Arrived at a life that I have known should be mine, could be mine, would be mine. A life I have been working steadily towards for what sometimes feels like an eternity. I am not saying my life is perfect. There are certainly days when my demons come out to play. There are days when I have fears and doubts, but they are few, and not very powerful these days. Sure, I could be making more money, but I make enough. Sure, my life could be a bit tidier, but it is tidy enough. During the week I work with people who make me laugh. Drill night I am surrounded by the tightknit brotherhood that has welcomed me with open arms, who make me laugh. My family is happy, healthy, loving, and they make me laugh. Weekends are spent in a dreamy haze with the one I love, who makes me laugh. My life is full of love and laughter, what more could anyone want? Honestly. I am so fortunate to be me, right here, right now.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Brain Unchained

    Brain Unchained. A writer's imagination is both blessing and curse. It is a curse in that I have all too often been able to imagine the progression of events from beginning through to an inevitable, and tragic conclusion. I have yet to discern if this is prescience, logic, imagination, or if I am merely living up to my own expectations. On the flip side of this, I have a rich life going on inside Brain. Thoughts ricochet around inside my skull like hyperactive four year olds penned into a small room and cranked up on sugar and caffeine. Some days my thoughts are organized into lucid essays. Some days they are random, scattered, scrambled, chaotic, beautiful, and highly entertaining. Other days Brain is haunted and taunted by demons whispering disparagement, discouragement, deprecation. The demon days let Brain rampage about the delicate terrain of my psyche, crushing, smashing, damaging my fragile ego with unfounded fears. Even on the demon inhabited days Brain wants to compile thoughts into tidy essays, assessments, analysis. On the demon days my imagination is the curse, but my writer's mind is the blessing as I dissect, analyze, study, flay Brain wide open, and turn scrambled dissonance into comprehensible composition. This has saved me many a day. Brain runs gibbering in circles, caught in the hamster wheel craze of fear, doubt, anxiety, and panic, when the writer steps in and forces those slavering thoughts into logical order. Amazing how the cause and cure for Brain Unchained are truly one and the same.