Sunday, February 24, 2013
When ever I need motivation to clean, I put on Hoarders and wait. Within a few camera sweeps of trash and clutter and I am off. Cleaning and organizing. Straightening up my own little messes. It was while doing this that I thought of another kind of hoarding. I was reminded of that old childish game we seem to all play at one time or another. When we gathered in dark spaces and put out our hands to touch the Planchette of the ouija board. Watching with our breath held as it magically passed back and forth until it gave us the answer that we had already preconceived. We took no responsibility for the outcome. We could surely not to be blamed. No matter that our finger prints were all over the game pieces. It was not our doing. As we leaned in together and each unburdened ourself of the abuses we had suffered at someone else's hands. Oh, it is heady times. There is that adrenaline rush when drama comes knocking. And of course we answer. How could we not? We have a game to play.
Instead of looking forward and asking some ghostly presence of our future, we looked back at the past. We categorized and cataloged every wrong done. Ever roll of the eye and vague status update.
We laid out our reasons for our bid at martyrdom. It was a lavish production. As tales were told and retold, editing our fault out and adding a double portion to our nemesis. We polished our words until our place as victim was assured. The only mistakes allowed to lay in peace were our own. Barely mentioned and quickly forgotten. These were not tales of what we had done, but rather what had been done to us.
I puzzled all of this as I went along straightening here and tidying there. And I saw them, my flaws. The faults that were mine. I had done some hoarding of my own. Every mistake made, every ill placed word was there. Preserved in formaldehyde sitting in glass jars covered in soot and dust and blame. This is what I had spent a lifetime collecting. I tapped the glass and the cloudy liquid gave up it's treasures. The image of my own errors. My own actions reflected back at me. Every time I should have granted a pass, given pardon and had not. Times I had chosen to hold on to a thing. To plow through the past as if hunting for truffles. And then I would chew on each until there was nothing left but a dry husk. A morsel of the most bitter nature. I had gathered every flaw and fault that was not mine.
I had sucked the very marrow out of their bones. pulverized their feeling and weaknesses to a fine dust and stored them all here. As I gazed on my collection of the macabre memories, I realized I was not meant to be the curator of deeds long dead. I must let them all go. Each and everyone. The largest and smallest and the deepest wound, that which came first. To move forward into a future not foreshadowed by some mystic apparition, but by my own making. I must push past blame and anger in order to live in peace. Life is not a game were we pass over people as if pieces on a board. No, we are here to help each other. To make our shared world more. I did not know that. I had no one to teach me and I was a poor student. Oh, I have heard variations on the theme, but I was not ready. I was too selfish. Too busy making sure that I got what I thought I needed. Only to have gathered all that I did not want. It occurred to me, that just as we must crawl before we walk, we must look outward to see inward.
mistakes are not to be collected or buried like treasure. They must be released or they gain power over your happiness. They interrupt your sleep and haunt your days. Apparitions we ourselves conjure up. Let it all go. It is not meant to be held on to. We cannot live in the past or in a cupboard full of pickled mistakes. They cannot sustain us, nor preserve us in any way. sail on.