thoughts on a Sunday afternoon

Thoughts always come to me circuitously, prompted by something external, harvested like resin on the barks of trees, occurring by virtue of the cuts inflicted upon the tree’s surface.

They are like disparate threads gathered from things people say, or things that I see and hear that have a common resonance, an emotional coalescence.

Yesterday I read several posts on Facebook, one from a friend who had gone on a date filled with hope only to return home disappointed. Another post I read spoke to how language is largely an inadequate method of communicating a description or explanation of the energy which underlies the more mystical aspects of this existence, which my friend had said was more appropriately expressed through emotion rather than termed as energy.

I have also been reading The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, a book that I had begun a while ago, got about a third of the way through and then parked. I picked it up yesterday morning and became reacquainted with it as if it were an old friend.

Without laboriously going over its contents, in fact skipping over that altogether, what culminated from these disparate threads was this thought: I think the poets, bards and lyricists have it right – the only way to share the numinous is through story, the telling of them meant to evoke within the reader or listener the sort of emotion that mirrors the state they are trying to describe.

Words ARE inadequate, in and of themselves, to express the depth of an experience that is such an internalized process that it often lacks description.

An experience must be shared in such a way as to allow the readers to intuit the meaning of it on a personal level – to have it move them and thereby establish an emotional connection to the material – in order to understand the progression that one is meant to take internally in order to get to the desired place.

The dating experience my friend described largely mirrored my own, which was an endless stream of disconnection and repeated disappointment in finding that those who were moved to meet me were either horribly bitter about their previous relationship(s) or were looking to be intimate rather than for intimacy – sometimes it was both.

I realized then that I had to step away from it all, and come to terms with myself. If we are essentially drawing like with like, then they were mirroring parts of myself that I had not come to terms with, and it seemed to me that I was best served by becoming the person that I wished to find.

It’s been a long, difficult, journey, and one not yet completed. That’s not to say that I haven’t made progress – I have – but I continue to struggle with the very things that disturbed me in the potential suitors. Things like bitterness resurfacing after a hiatus, after my having declared myself its victor, requiring me to find ways in which to sit with that bitterness without allowing it to consume me so entirely that it would end up funnelling down into hatred and despair.

Other things came to fore too, like the realization that I keep people at arm’s length because I am incapable of trusting them or myself with the enormity of emotion that might perhaps expand between us if the relationship progressed naturally, and I (and my partner) were to show ourselves vulnerable to each other.

What is natural, anyway? I tout being “natural” as thought it was some sort of badge of honour but I wouldn’t know it, some days, if it bit me in the ass.

Natural.

I’ve spent a lot of time – my lifetime, so far – reigning myself in (that would be as far from natural as one could get, I imagine). So much so that it appalls me when I realize that in order to survive this next part of my life with an intact soul I will need to deconstruct everything and every way I’ve learned to be and figure out a new way.

I don’t know if I’m brave enough. I don’t know if I can take the torment that accompanies this process… not alone, and I truly am alone. Alone, surrounded by people, just like the girl in my tiny book on loss.

There are tiny losses, like some loose change inadvertently falling out of a pants pocket down into a sewage grate, or chipping a nail and having to cut all of the rest of them to even them out, but others are far larger than that, like losing your sense of dignity even before you really knew what that meant, or never really knowing what greatness lies within you because you got lost along the road to finding out what truly lies within.

The thing about discoveries is that you can’t not see them once you’ve seen them. You have few choices in how you will choose to live with them. Only two, really: pretend that you didn’t see them, and let their truth gnaw away at your insides while you maintain the status quo, or you choose to acknowledge them, which also necessitates figuring out how to make a better life by humbly embracing those truths and sitting in the discomfort until a better solution presents itself.

Neither is an easy route, really. One can potentially bring me closer to becoming the person that I would want to spend some time with, perhaps even the rest of my mortal life, while the other would cause me to continue to harden and shrivel, becoming but a husk of my former self, never really knowing just how close I was to finding my way back home.

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