November 25, 2013

Surrender



I used to be better at this being-an-adult business.

I knew how to hold back tears. I would hear whispers behind my back. An occasional direct insult would be spoken. I was ostracized. I learned that kids were fickle creatures, and I could not fathom where the cruel and malicious came from. But I never thought that there was anything wrong with me. I knew that I was simply in the wrong place, and there would be my kind of people somewhere if I only stuck it out. And I never let it show.

I used to be able to look back on things that made me sad, and appreciate that I was not in that place anymore. The knowledge that they ended gave me strength. It’s gone, I would say. It’s past. And I was able to leave it there, carrying only the strong with me.

I remember noting thresholds in my journal. Moments of clarity, when things fell into place. Moments of growth, when I was able to articulate things out loud after years of failing to whisper them even in solitude, with no one around but my own voice. I remember a growing curve of empowerment, centered and steady, knowing as much as I could at the time, understanding as much of myself as was good for me.

I knew my cycle of amping up and surrendering. I would allow myself to get upset over something to the point of breaking. Then I would break through, surrender, and continue bigger and better. My breaking points used to whizz underneath my feet like sleepers on a railway track. Intense, fast, irreversible.

Something happened to me three years ago. Something happened and I gave away my personal power, or perhaps I was merely shown that whatever private Alexandria I had built, it was time to watch it burn to the ground. The sleepers started reversing, and got further apart. I can now take more than I ever thought I could, and yet every step feels like walking on broken glass. Past pain returns with a vengeance, despite the clarity and having let go. I cannot hold back tears anymore. Whatever armor I had in my command when I was thirteen is gone.

Winter will always smell like America, like my most powerful and my most vulnerable.

I will always feel guilty about making choices that affect those I love, no matter how benevolent, serendipitous, or wise. I will have to learn to make peace with my agency.

I will always be made of an abrasive kind of stardust. I will speak a distant kind of language, and there will always be a part of it that no one will understand. Not even my glorious soul mate. And that’s OK.

I will always negotiate my alone, my solitary, my lonely and my remote. It is who I am, just like I am connection, tenderness and love.


I will always have more than one home. And that is perfect.
 




13 comments:

  1. Wow Chris...this one sure has me swimming in numerous emotions and many thoughts on perspective, experience and transformation of one's self....growth really.

    In the first paragraph I love how you knew you were sure that there wasn't anything wrong with you...you assured your seeing the whole picture. That your kind of people would show up eventually...you only needed to hold on for awhile. What a strong, natural sense of place and hope....

    And then you note that this all changes. Perhaps it is my status as an old fart who has been around the block so many times I've worn out my bicycle but this all seems like a (somewhat) natural progression. Nothing stays the same....Innocence runs out and we all sense a change in our place in the world. I a certain way though they are your words...the progression I sense is similar to my own transformation from wide eyed wanderer to an older, and yes wiser perspective as a result of living experience.

    Life beat the innocence out of me through a series of life transforming events...is that what happened to you 3 years ago? perhaps....only you know or even need to know.

    Honestly though it is so much more then just what you say my friend...it's all in the special way you say it that moves me and I suspect others. Your gift of perception and the ability to articulate that in words is truly what always will take you higher and higher and...you know, higher!

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    1. Hey T,

      Here is what I think it is. Or might be. It was "easy" knowing there was nothing wrong with me because I was not the one doing the "bad" things. What happened three years ago was so obvious yet it hit me in the face: I made mistakes. I was the bad guy. For the first time in my life, at the tender age of 30, I fucked up royally on multiple levels. It felt so good to break through the glass door of innocence to experience (thank you, William Blake). It made me feel alive, it made me feel human. I was always aware of the repercussions, and when the devil came to collect his debt, I ate it.

      But what I am trying to figure out here is, I guess, the difference between making mistakes and being human, and thinking that "there is something wrong with me." If I was capable of doing those things, does that mean I was always that person? I think I was, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. What counts at the end of the day is not how few times you fucked up, but how you cleaned up the mess once it happened.

      I also guess I perceived things to be more linear before, and now I am realizing that spirals are my thing (thank you, W. B. Yeats). You circle, and come back, but it is never the same comeback, and never a regression.

      I am indeed stating the obvious here, as you noticed right away. And, like you in your own writing, I felt that it was important to register this moment. And I just love the expression "been around the block so many times I've worn out my bicycle" :) Higher and higher indeed.

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    2. I laughed when I read the line about breaking through the glass door of innocence to experience and how it made you feel alive. Of course it does...the issue for bicycle boy here is I never got tired of busting that glass and stepping through to another dimension. Only like any addiction I found I had to smash bigger and badder glass to keep getting off. The repercussions? Be damned! That began the downword spiral in my case.

      But I do believe as you suggest that you always were that person. That is certainly my belief...I believe we are what we are and capable from day one of anything we do. The variable is circumstance, emotion, reaction and in my case artificial stimulation in the form of booze/drugs., Aww Hell, the barometric pressure could have something to do with the reaction for all I know, hehe!

      I think where I may differ is at the end of the day it's what I Experienced and Learned as opposed to limiting the fuck-ups and cleaning up the mess. Life in some ways, perhaps all ways should be somewhat of a MAGNIFICENT Mess! I know that is a jaded and very callous point of view but it is what I believe.

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    3. I agree with the mess and I like it myself. I don't think that's a jaded statement by any means. By cleaning up I meant that it matters how we make amends with those we hurt. That kind of mess cannot be avoided, but it matters how we apologize and atone, how we communicate and whether we come out of it as better people. Sounds so lovely and self-righteous but of course, easier said than done.

      And I know that barometric pressure definitely has an affect on me, so I won't judge :)

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  2. Surrender — the opening of the hands. Cessation of self-defense—the more you block the punches the quicker and harder they come. Trying not to flinch with a fist flying in your face takes every bit of surrender in you. You must be a wall or air, or both.

    Nothing is ever really gone. A permanent record in HD 3D and HiDef has been kept for your viewing pleasure. Even scent has joined in to recreate your stories, told by ghosts with excellent memories and familiar voices. They are gone; they are here. Which are they? Isn’t it enough to glean the lessons but must we keep the husks?

    Chris, I love this post. Your writing throbs with blood and pulse. I watched my Alexandria burn to the ground recently and I said, “It’s about time”. But, meh…the pain!

    I really miss you.

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    1. I am always here, Leah :)

      It's funny, I was writing in my head all this time, and yet work just took over and all of a sudden it was a month since I last published anything. How did that happen? I have so many ideas in my head, but I needed to get back into it gently and tentatively... hence this simplicity of Alexandria burning. Ha.

      A long time ago, I wrote in a letter to Murdoc, "nothing is ever lost in this great universe of ours." I truly believe that, and I agree with you. I think it's good to step barefoot on a remnant husk sometimes, or sit down on one unexpectedly, preferably with your pants down. It hurts and you curse your ass off, but they are reminders and touchstones and crumbs that we left behind.

      I often compare myself to one of those dysfunctional dogs on TV shows. I am backed into a corner, barking my frightened face off at something that is only a vague threat. I pipe down and surrender in the end, but not after I have exhausted myself. And lately, the stronger I get, the longer it takes to reach surrender in this way. I need to find a way that is more sophisticated, and less exhausting :)

      I am indeed a wall or air, and both. Thank you for putting it so beautifully. Just like you, I have taken up a new hobby recently, and it has been opening up door after door of self-awareness because it has required me to be both wall and air. I will write about it, I promise.

      Be well, my friend.

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  3. "I need to find a way that is more sophisticated, and less exhausting :)" LOL! When you do Chris, please share it with me. I can't keep bleeding out.

    Please don't make us wait a month to hear about your new hobby.

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    1. I know, right. I have perfected the art of stating the obvious :) maybe hypnosis would do the trick. And yes, that post is the one I would love to write next. Working on it.

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  4. I totally relate here. After 50 years I became the bad guy, the one who dealt harm, the one that could NEVER, would never, yet did all the never's, hoping the glass wall would bust out because of it. In the end I had to use the hammer of my hand and do it anyway. The Never's were necessary only in that they calloused the hand. I did feel. I did become more than the walking dead, and still, four years later, the price is high. I think all of us have an ideal self and a real self. If we are strong enough to allow the real self to be know, the ideal self loses it's power. We begin to understand we can be real and dirty and wrong and warped and still be accepted. We can be challenged to be better. I know I speak my own language and as an ACOA I now understand why I feel so different from everybody else. I am behind...newly in paragraph one. There will be my kind of people if only I will stick to real. I will find a kindred spirit and teach him my language. I will learn his. And that dream dies almost daily. Daily I breath life back into it. Hope and surrender. They are like sun, cyclicly rising and setting. Surrendering to the real me is the only hope of finding that connection.

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  5. Or maybe we need to learn to speak the language of that part of our self we tend to have a blind eye for. I sense struggle in your words, and perhaps a tinge of being caught up in trying to get better so much that you're actually making things difficult for yourself, however unintentionally. I might just be hypervigilant because it reminds me of what I used to, and still do sometimes - I apologize if I have crossed a line. I could type some self-helpy mumbo jumbo that says you cannot achieve true connection with others before you connect with yourself, but I just don't believe in that. We meet our people in the most inopportune situations, and it should be no other way. If I didn't have Murdoc, you bet I would be searching far and wide, as far as my feet and voice would take me, because I was born for that kind of connection. It's random and yet chosen. Never taken for granted but bowed down to at each sunrise, proudly and gratefully. Be well, girl. Thank you for being here.

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  6. Wait, was I deleted, or waiting approval?

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  7. Damn Blogger!

    What I said was, I must do exactly what you do not believe in....Connect with myself only... because I have no Murdoc. But I absolutely love what you said. "searching far and wide, as far as my feet and voice would take me, because I was born for that kind of connection. It's random and yet chosen. Never taken for granted but bowed down to at each sunrise, proudly and gratefully." Taking it as my new mantra :) I was born thus.

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    1. No deletion or approval on my side, probably Blogger acting up :/

      I could have already been in the States, green card wife and all. The reason I am not is that there is "me" to be worked on - I want to get my PhD done (or at least the huge formal chunk of it) before I move anywhere for whatever reason. I was born for many different things, and this is one of them, too. A pretty important one.

      It would be so easy to drop everything and give in to love overseas, under the "I was born for this" umbrella. I can't. I would be betraying myself and my path if I did, even if it wrenches my heart daily to be so far away. I have to do "me" with or without him (hopefully with, of course), because just as easily as he waltzed into my life, he could be gone tomorrow, for whatever reason again. The wonderful thing is, he knows who he fell in love with, and my path is just as important to him as it is to me. A lesser man would not be here. And I could not be prouder.

      The distance is almost unbearable at times. There are tears and phone calls at four in the morning (add or subtract six hours for time difference in any direction). Letters, messages, dreams exchanged. I suck at this, but I am trying to use the time I have on my own to get over the past and grow, and to be present here where I am. I really suck at it at times, but I try.

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