It’s been a few days since I spoke to Ulla. Part of letting her go. While I’m relieved to no longer be crying so much, I can’t help but be aware of the heavy wound I carry just beneath the surface. It makes me go out on walks. Makes me smile even tho I walk alone because some part of me tells myself to look up, look at the sky and the trees and the sun and be glad to see such a beautiful day with these eyes. It makes me call out hello to people who might slip by me otherwise occupied in their own thoughts.
Feels like my soul got shot up with novocaine. I’m still there, still capable of saying ‘ow’ if you hit the right spot, but it’s an ‘ow’, not a howl of a torn spirit. And it hit me all at once, unexpected. Just woke up this way. I found the effect so extreme that for the first time since my beloved Sable died I was able to look at a picture of him looking AT me without crying. Up ’til now I could only look at one picture, a side view of him gazing off into the distance.
I’d heard of the technique of using one fire to kill another. I just never had it happen to me before. Yet that, it seems, is what’s happened. Because now I can look at a picture of my last cat and just say ‘hi, beautiful’ without that punch to my middle that forces all the air out of my lungs.
Today is my language lesson, and the old stress of will I walk out or won’t I is back on me. Forty-five minute tossing and turning was my morning limit; out of bed at 5 just to have some coffee and shut my head up as best as possible. Can I register my disappointment in myself right now? I find it beyond belief that this last week I’ve been wracked by so much, yet here I am, right back to worrying over something I shouldn’t BE worrying about. But no matter how much I tell myself I’m gonna be an adult and all grown up about the situation I STILL worry. Still run things thru my head, over and over. Still drag my ass out of bed even tho I’ve got puffy dark circles under my eyes because better to be up facing my demons than half asleep, at their mercy. Good goddess. What will it take to get these lessons thru to my subconscious?
It’s all just sitting there. Life. Waiting for me to dig in up to my elbows and get dirty. That same old reluctance is on me. Same old fear. Didn’t even bother to change its clothes; still wearing that tattered old coat that stinks of stale sweat. I am not thrilled to see my old traveling companion. Thought you were leaving, I say. Never, comes the reply. And I realize fear is a liar, always has been a liar. We tend to say ‘my courage left me’ but that’s not true; it’s your fear that comes and goes, not your courage. No matter how many times you banish that bastard son of an emotion, it sneaks back through your borders and suddenly you find a nest of fear in yourself, a knotted growth that seems tied to every facet of your life. Fear doesn’t keep its promise to stay away. It seeps in through the cracks, dampens even the happiest of times with its cold, sucking hands that snatch away good thoughts and confidence.
The animal I inhabit – what a great way to put it! – has got the fight or flight reaction going. But I’m not that animal. My job is to hold it in check. If it were as easy as a jockey riding a horse I wouldn’t be bitching. But it’s not. It’s a jockey hooked into the emotional status of the horse. I can feel the racing pulse. The antsy energy running through the limbs. The anticipation of that opening bell, the race begun, the hell bent energy on getting there, getting there first, running full out because that’s what the animal does…And I can’t let it. I have to rise above what I’m feeling and keep it in balance. Pull on the bit, use the crop – I feel it all and hate myself for doing it even as I know it’s necessary (this. is. necessary.).
Bit time: Whatever happens today at my lesson, I gotta keep my cool. If I walk, walk with dignity. I’ve seen people walk without dignity and it ain’t pretty. Burn no bridges, make no waves. There’s only one thing I’m interested in today: do I feel like it’s a waste of my time? Never felt that way in my last class. If it comes up for me today, that’s my hint. Time to say the words: Dit werkt niet voor me. Simple enough. Crop time: If I’m confused or uncertain today, I’ve got to ask. Even if I have to use English. Anything – and I mean anything – that makes me question if they think I’m stupid or ignorant or wrong MUST be addressed. Wat bedoelt u? Speak up and get some answers. Fluff offs or being told to read it in a book: go to bit time.
A solid loop to keep myself in this morning. Wat bedoelt u? Dit werkt niet voor me. Wat bedoelt u? Dit werkt niet voor me. Those two lines are my left and right guns, respectively. Got them slung on my hip now, my Stetson pulled low over my eyes, ready for business. Keep my eyes on my opponent – watch for that twitch in the hand or face that’s so telling. Calm. Cool. I can take ’em in a max of two shots.
That includes fear. I can face him in his smelly coat now. Bang, bang. He falls. I know he’s a zombie and he’ll get back up. But for now he’s down. For now he’s inert.
Just call me Beeps the Kid.