Today is a day for writing under the covers. It’s a day for writing one last love letter on unlined paper, to the very first one. The very first one who said it, who meant it, who left. It’s a day for conjuring up ceremonies in the woods, for release, for letting go of the past. Today is a day to forgive.
It’s a day to dust off the demons on the shelf like so many trinkets, because they no longer hold any worth and are taking up too much space. It’s time to send them on their way. Time for them to get some fresh air, to shake it off and become WHOLE, fleshy, and pink.
My first office award at The Contributor.
Nashville, Tennessee 2014
I can picture them going on a little pilgrimage, waddling grumpily down the lane as I wave a final farewell. They are squat and dirty. They are funny, sarcastic, always right. They are some of my closest friends, gremlins that speak to me in the night, that keep me company when I am most alone, that give unwanted advice when I’m the most afraid. They are the sneaky, pointy hatted gnomes hiding in the garden, growling under my bed.
They have never stayed in the places I put them. The more I move, the more devious they become, finding ways to follow me wherever I go. They’ve never listened to rules or obeyed my urgent pleas to on the cobwebbed shelves, high out of reach where I can’t see them. They’re too mischievous for that, too stubborn and willful. To be honest, I think they have been feeling cooped up. I think they are up to so many shenanigans because I’ve never really set them free. Not all at once. Not from a place of love, of tenderness.
Once in awhile, one will escape. But like a prodigal son, it will always return, feeling left-out and forlorn, waiting for the other demons to come along, too. They do not like being set free one at a time. Makes them more likely to come back.
Yet, I’ve come to fear these little guys less and less. Which is why I think I can finally let them go. They are just pieces of me, caricatures of my past, of my imaginary future. They are sketches never quite finished, outlines drawn in the dark with the Light off. But what if the lack of potential, the fear of finalization was just that? What if it was only the fear of becoming real?
So I’m sending them on a journey of completion. I’m sending them on their way so they can find their way. Find the way of transformation, of transmutation. I’m letting them become real, not so that they will become separate from me, but so they can fully and finally integrate. So that together, we can become WHOLE.
I’m giving them each their own assignments and new identities. The one named Shame I’m sending in search of Worthiness. The one called Abandonment I’m sending in the direction of Freedom. The one I call Loss, I’m asking to find Patience. The loudest one, who’s name is Betrayal, I’m giving directions toward Grace. And finally, the self-indulgent one who goes by Anger, I’m sending on the longest journey of all…the journey to Forgiveness.
While they’re out, I’m going to do some house cleaning. I’m going to open up the windows, sweep out the dust, and play in the forest. I’m going to turn over the lumps and clods in the garden, breaking apart the hardness, running my hands through the soil, feeling the softness with my finger tips. I’m going to make sure Worthiness, Freedom, Patience, Grace, and Forgiveness all have a fertile place to come home to. Until then, I’ll be awaiting and celebrating their arrival.
Street mural in Cuenca, Ecuador 2012