Thursday, September 27, 2012



    My husband asked me what I would do, when the day came that my past caught up with my present. When there were no more obvious stories to tell. He is silly that way. I have an abundance of words. A cornucopia of thoughts and ideas and everything is a story. When I started this journey of using words as bread crumbs, hoping you would come find me, others asked how did I do it. How did I get through it all. I have been holding this one back for so long. There is a secret to it. In the middle of the storm on the rainiest of days, I would reach out from my dark place. The one I knew so well. It was decorated with every hard thing that had happened to me. Every slight and betrayal. The shone out of the darkness. Sparkling pieces of glass and mirror. All jagged edges and painful images. I would dwell there. In that no place, where no one else could go. Where I had isolated myself and barred the door. I would not come out. It was as if I was visiting with an old friend. But really not much of a friend at all...more a thief. That place stole my joy, my hope my very desire to live. And slowly, bit by bit, I realized that I did not belong there. I did not have to stay in this world made up of pain and sorrow. Yet, how to get out? There were no windows, the bolt was shot on that steel door I hid behind and I could not make it move. Rusted in place, refusing to yield.

  So, I accepted the fact that I could not leave that place just yet. That I would have to stay. There was something in all those memories which I had missed. Overlooked in my vigil of despair. I came to it slowly, a new idea formed. I could not leave this land of sorrow, but maybe I could bring something in. I thought of things I loved and people who brought me joy. I held those images before those broken pieces of looking glass and their memories, their powers were magnified. I looked into the shards and saw the most wondrous things. Kindness bestowed upon me. I will share a few with you here.

  When I was five, after my siblings had left us and my father's attention brought me shame, we went to a bowling alley. Now, my parents were serious bowlers. My father was very good. And because my sister was no longer there to watch over us, my parents took us with them. I was supposed to be in the bathroom. I was loitering before the vending machines. Looking at all those incredible things behind the glass. I would have never have asked for money from my parents. Even at five I knew the answer. Asking for things was a no no. And so I stood there eyes wide, dreaming of the possibilities, when a woman approached me. I don't know where she came from, or what made her stop. But she did and she asked me what I wanted. There were so many choices. Everything and nothing. These were not for me. I knew that they were for others. But she pressed me again and I pointed to the peanut butter cups and she slipped the money in and they tumbled down. She motioned for me to take the offering and I shy followed her instructions. I said thank you and she passed on. I stuffed them into my jacket sleeve. I knew better than to go share my good fortune, they would have taken it from me. I waited all through their three games of bowling and the short drive home. Finally, when I was tucked into my bed, alone in the dark, I peeled open that wrapper and slow ate those two little gifts from a strange. She has no idea how she brighten my world with that small gesture.

  A neighbor once told me how beautiful my face was. I must have been ten. She leaned down to me. Looking me squarely in the eye and proclaimed me a beauty. I was too shocked to speak. Adults were dangerous in my world and I had expected no praise. She said my eyes were pretty and that my smile was special. I was curious. I went into the bathroom making sure to lock the door and I peered into that mirror. Looking at me, looking at me. I leaned in and examined my features. I tried to see what she had seen, but I did not. However, I held on to her words. I tucked them in my pocket and I would pull them out when the storms in my life raged on. I became entranced with light. The way sunlight fell on grass blade and water. i got lost in the beauty of nature. Later, my niece and nephew would be my touchstones and still later, my own children.

  You may not be ready or able to leave that dark, damp cave like cell that your pain takes you to. You may feel trapped and helpless. I understand. Look for something small. Your salvation will not be found in a lottery ticket or treasures found. No, it is much easier than that. If it is raining, look at the puddles, see how the raindrops  make the water dance? What about the joy of a child's laughter? Those precious little people who think you hung the moon. There is hope. It is like a scavenger hunt. Tucked into your memories and your reality, there is hope. Go find it. Hold it up to those wicked reflections and bask in the new view. The bolt will slip. it will let go it's hold and you can escape. Those horrid little interlopers will always be there. We can not be rid of them. However, we can make peace and we can blot out the bad, with the good. I hope your day is well reader. I hope you are feeling blessed. And I hope most of all, that you engineer your own escape.

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