In life we create these moments that we believe matter, marking the date, we celebrate, thinking that it will always be of some importance to us. We don’t think of what lies ahead, how life’s assurance to us is always going to be to change our course, and all of a sudden that moment, now holds far less value. All the sentiments surrounding the moment no longer exist. The value of the date, the celebration, has no role anymore, and a vacant space is created, for a new story perhaps, or perhaps for no story at all. The date, becomes as it was before, and quietly you wonder to yourself why in a world where nothing is permanent or absolute, do we still insist on signifying such moments in the first place. In hindsight, it would seem for this particular moment a certain naivety had taken precedence over, her much higher wisdom.
This is the spot where i was standing, when i knew, with extraordinary certainty that this is the place we would find ourselves. I knew this from this moment when i took this photograph. For me, there was no need to even look inside, something greater said we would come here, that this blue house on this breathtaking piece of land would one day soon be ours to call home. There was already intimacy here, the plan was already unfolding before we even walked through the front door. I couldn’t help but smile. We can see ourselves here, we can see masses of vegetable gardens, fruit orchards and ducks. We see free range chickens and our free range children and everything that ever meant anything to us has found its new place here. It’s the kind of place where you would wake up with the morning sun streaming through the windows and smile, to be where you are. It’s the kind of place that the television serves little purpose, and children are free to roam and explore until their hearts are content. We are wanting to come here and slowly unfold this house and in the process hopefully unfold ourselves into something that resembles new ideas and new dreams for ourselves, and everything so far for this idea seems to be falling into place.
spending time with my boy has become a rare occasion now. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere in amongst the chaos i lost hold of him. it might have always been going to head down this path no matter what the circumstances were but i can’t help but think that the more recent moments of uncertainty in our lives played an important part in his decision to no longer live with us. Life for our family has been wonderfully hard over the years with so many dynamics to contend with, toddlers and teenagers, autism and more autism. I can imagine for a thirteen year old boy finding your place in amongst all that is almost impossible. He was lost, i could tell that much, surrounded by too many females, who all had something to say about his well-being and the directions he was taking. He didn’t have anyone to follow lead from, to really understand the depths of his own wanting and confusion in all of this. Everyone who he was supposed to matter to, was too caught up in being held captive to their own devastation and we failed him terribly. I failed him terribly. He was suffering and i was spread far too thin to keep grip of him. He wanted out, he needed out, so I surrendered and let him go. He is settled now, living with his father and for now it seems it’s what he wants and needs. For the first time in his life, he’s getting to know his dad, really know him, right down to the finer details of how he fits into life with him now. I understand that this is important for him to do, that to understand and know his father better will in time give him greater understanding for why things played out the way they did. It has been really hard stepping back, to not be the one who is guiding the way and gently maneuvering him back on track when he gets himself a little lost. I am having to detach, not from loving him, but from the responsibly of being the one who is going to show him the way. He, has chosen another for that role, now. As hard as this particular change has been to our tribe, it has unexpectedly brought with it a space for breathing. A space for me to completely let go of one of the heavy challenges i was carrying. It has allowed for things to slow down, for the constant rhapsody that was flowing between my two sons, to settle. It has allowed me the room to be more gentle on myself and more importantly more gentle on him. We are moving to a new dance now and it seems to be working better. Spending time together when it happens, is more earnest now. It takes on a level of importance that it always should have had. It’s possible that this time was always going to present itself at some stage in his life, where he would feel that he needed to go, but it came so much sooner than i was expecting. I am alright with it now, and even at times i am quietly thankful for his decision.
i have been living in the same place, the same house for almost twenty years now. I have been living here all the while dreaming of there. Never moving or changing the scene for fear of it being too hard, of not wanting to upset delicate routines of children and thinking that staying grounded in the one place is what is best for everyone; even though i have longed for as long as i can remember for different, for new, for something other than here. I envied people who took chances, who moved around, who were always heading somewhere new , some place fresh. Over the years i have been seeking out possibilities of where we may see ourselves, but really nothing ever felt right, not right enough to uplift an entire tribe. I have found it hard to be inspired having to stay in the one place, my creative flow always searching for something new to draw from, searching out scenes that have become all too familiar now. Yet this house of ours has served us well. It has housed and nourished five children from babies and provided a safe place for life to unfold. It has been the solid foundation when much in our lives has been volatile over the years. It has sheltered us from many wounds and ever so gently nurtured us back towards ourselves. It has been as much as i dreamt of different, in the end, our saviour. Something deep within says it’s time now. Time for letting go of this place we have only ever known as home. It’s time now for a new beginning in a new house. Our story within these four walls is inching towards the end, and I am unafraid, and unresisting towards the process, as i know this is exactly the way it is meant to be. Life is asking us to begin again the intricate journey of unfolding ourselves in some place new. And i am looking forward to the story it entails.
the literature of women’s lives is a tradition of escapees, women who have lived to tell the tale.. They resist captivity. They get up and go. They seek better worlds.
I have been quiet here lately, away, for quite sometime now, I know. There has really been nothing that has been ready to say. No truth that needed to be revealed, not until now, anyway. I’m in the in-between. Moving slowly and allowing myself to build in strength. I have let go of all that my story entailed and will leave the pages blank for a while. There are deep hard questions that I need to ask myself now. Ponderings that only arise when all the children are asleep, when the house is still and there’s nowhere to hide, from myself. What was it I believed about myself that would allow another to come in and ever so slowly and carefully dismantle me, my worth? What belief is it I must hold that would say, you are undeserving beside the ones you love, the ones you care for and give your life to? Where did the deep value and love for myself go? I didn’t notice it leave. For so long I didn’t fight for myself. I allowed whatever expectations I had about what I deserved, to slowly fall to such a place that I began to believe and hold on to what was happening as if it was my truth, a devastating portrayal of myself. I would catch myself sending silent whispers off into the world, wondering if this was to continue to be my story. While travelling in the car with my children and my husband, my own reflection caught me in the car window and in that very inconvenient moment I was hit hard with a deafening sadness, where I had to fight with great strength to hold back the tears that were begging to fall but in such way that I knew if I am to begin now I may never stop crying. I may never be able to escape the depths of this grief, grief for the loss of myself. This is the moment it became so very clear to me, if I stay in this, I simply would not survive.
I have been slowing down, sifting through, and clearing out on purpose. Life has presented me with an abundance of challenges over the past few months, with children, family, finances and grand life decisions. I keep reassuring myself there is no wrong here, just different paths to take, i keep reminding myself that i am only one person, and all will be well. Friends are important right now, at least one in particular. I think without this friend, my challenges would have been inevitably harder. She has been my breath when i have found it impossible to breathe, she is the one who listens as worlds fall apart, makes the tea and wipes away the endless tears without trying to change or move me into feeling better. She is alright sitting beside the hurts knowing only too well that they must be felt and really is powerless to change them anyway. It is with this hand, of this friend, that things are able to rise to the surface and be felt at the very depths that they require, without holding them in judgment or with regret. It is with this, that things are ever so slowing changing form, making room for new ideas, new beginnings, creating space, honouring growth. She is the one who reminds me to be more gentle with myself, to nurture my soul and more importantly forgiving myself for the minor infractions I so harshly hold myself accountable for. She reminds me that All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.