Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A short story

The sun is just about to splash into the turquoise.  

It is that moment where the last glowing sliver disappears, leaving a sky streaked with coral and golden hues.  I hear the waves hit, and the see the sparkling foam fanning out upon the sand, the gulls skittering upon the surface.  I want to paint this picture so vividly in my mind’s eye that I can not forget it.  I want to hold the moment, to keep this small perfect picture indelible, and retrievable.  Because in this time around the wheel, it seems that much of my sojourn has already been forgotten, never to return...and there is no one to ask.

My husband has many holders of his history.  We are surfside, sitting at a dinner with friends of his childhood, their parents, his own parents.  I am surrounded by their love and laughter, I am embraced and lifted up by it, and yet I am an outsider to all these stories.  Like watching a favorite movie, it is familiar and heartwarming, but it is not my story, and a slice of me sits in abject sorrow and loneliness, for I have no one who can tell me about myself as a girl.

How pathetic and narcissistic to allow this barbed coil of wretchedness any place in my awareness.   Yet there it is.   It is a truth, and I feel less whole because of it.  

No brother or sister, parents dead, never really close with extended family,  a childhood of Air Force relocations, acquaintances remembered, but no lasting friends from those years.   Yes, I have rediscovered on Facebook some friend from high school days.  But the parts of my life that can be shared and remembered in any meaningful way start in college.  If I can’t recall some detail, Teidi or Kelly or Lisa or David will.  I can salvage those parts of my self through their collective net of consciousness, and I cherish those enduring bonds.  

But what I can’t remember from when I was 5 or 9,  12 or 16, when we lived in Oklahoma or Germany or North Carolina, these pieces of me have fallen into a space that, like an anchor laid down at the bottom of the sea, remains unreachable, unfathomable.  Alone, I can not hoist that ballast, or beckon back memories obscured by the tides of time.

Feeling at once forlorn and foolish, I rise from the table before the tears are seen and find my way to the restroom.   I gaze into green eyes, noting with some chagrin the creases of my crows feet, moist as I struggle with this pain. 

Stop it. 

No, don’t stop it. 

Breathe into it.

Feel it for what it is and let the knowing move through you. 

How interesting, this grasping at the past, this idea that what came before is so vital.  The experience and remembrance of a Me through time feels so necessary  to knowing who I am now, to being my authentic self.

But is it really that important after all? 

As a psychotherapist, day after day I hear the life stories of others.  I bear witness to the pain and struggle.  I accept, validate, and ultimately try to help my clients move beyond their self-limiting beliefs and habits, to transform the sadness, fear and anger that keeps them mired in the past, or paralyzed by fear of the future.  

In essence, healing happens in the moment of release from the often-told life story and the endless editorializing and criticizing.  Freedom lies in the ability to be fully alive to the present moment, accepting it as it is without expectation or judgment.  Well-being exists in embracing the process of mindful awareness of here-and-now.  We grow in connectedness to others and feel the evolutionary impulse when we move beyond the constraints of ego -  me, my history, my story - and instead notice what is shared and essential in the experience of humanity.

I walk back to the table and feel connected once again.  We all were children once.  As were our parents, and theirs before them, and further, and beyond to the differentiation of species, and all the way back to the creatures crawling from water to land, farther back to only water, the changed yet same water now holding the hiding sun until it begins its arc again across the brightening sky.

All I really need to know is known.  If I have breath when the sun rises, I will have all I need.




Friday, April 12, 2013

A Facebook Tale

I begin today feeling as big as the universe and as essential as those string theory threads.   I feel that for you too.  Let me tell you the story.

I am part of a  small group on Facebook participating in National Poetry Month by posting poems.  They are mostly original works (and some crackingly good ones!), and occasionally someone will post a work by some other published author.  Marcia, a woman I have never met except through Facebook, posted this by a poet of the 1800's:

Who Has Seen The Wind? 
  by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?    
Neither I nor you:            
But when the leaves hang trembling,     
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?   
Neither you nor I:    
But when the trees bow down their heads,  
The wind is passing by.  

I felt inspired by this piece, and wrote the following as a sort of homage and extension:

I Have Seen the Wind.
  by Katherine Hamilton

I have seen the wind
It is just behind my eyes
Creating space for landscapes,
A place for lover’s sighs

You have seen the wind.
It is just behind my eyes
Creating gusts of discontent
And room for love’s demise

And then Marcia posts the following:  
"Katherine, it's interesting how a little something I read in a daily devotional email caused me                                  to think of that one line, "Who has seen the wind?"  Then I felt like posting the poem here, and you  composed a poem which sums up the twelve-year relationship with my ex-beau which I ended last September."

We are all the wind, and the wind connects us all.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Poem of the Day

So April is National Poetry Month, and I have been participating in a Facebook page of submitting a poem a day.  Today I submitted one that I just wrote, so thought I would share it here.  It is about spiders but doesn't have a title yet.  Maybe the first line?

The spider is my totem.

I used to kill her, you know,
before I was ready to let in her meaning.

She comes to me often now,
startling me
from lassitude and complacency.

Delicate, (dangerous?)
Maya, Arachne.
Gentle grandmother,
weaver of illusion and infinity.

The thread of generations
is spun from her belly--
a web of sorrows and wishes
wrought in the night.

Reminding me, yes, that all is connected
the past and time passed
is the pattern we live.

As she is the keeper of soul’s hidden language
of dream, and of poem

So she moves me to write.