High school is a wonderful magical time where we see so much growth. Hard to believe that ten years ago these ladies played this age old game of Ring Around the Rosie. Here they are at the cusp of a new adventure.
Weeks 11 to 19
Much of what I experienced since my last posting I am unable to fully write out in detail, so I leave you with this instead to convey the experience the past months have brought. My only warning, please be careful with your assumptions for they are more than likely not as you believe or about who you assume.
Tea and Locket
The tavern is filled with people laughing, singing, telling tales of their victories and woes. A poet recites an epic journey while a musician plays on his lute. The room is lit by candle light. She sits in the far corner at a small table hidden away in plain sight. Her cloak shadows her face. Between the shadows and candle light, she appears to be a delicate set of lips floating out of the darkness.
“It has been a while since our last discussion, and for good reason,” she spoke softly.
Taking a sip from her tea before gently placing the cup down on the table, she seems to shift in her seat. Her fingers gently caress the cup as if it were a lost love. She was a vision out of place, just as her hot tea being served up in a tavern happened to be.
She slowly removed the hood of her cloak, allowing her face to become somewhat exposed and framed by the shadows that danced about her. Her big eyes revealed glints of new life, yet a tiredness. Her frame seemed a walking paradox.
She shifted the tea cup back and forth between her hands and spoke in a soft voice, “I do apologize for being away and out of communication. It was not my intention. I had gone on an unexpected voyage that imparted changes in me, forever. — Yet, it also reinforced and confirmed things that I had suspected to be true. Truly a heart breaking experience when I had thought my heart could not break any more.
The last time I saw you, we had just left Wonderland. The outside of Wonderland is surrounded by a very small set of gardens and forests. Do you know what exists beyond Wonderland’s gardens and forests?”
She leans in toward the center of the table, almost knocking over her tea. “Let me say this – it is as much a crazy step out as it is going in. Having tripled in size in matters of seconds one has no choice but to move to the gardens and forests half covered in shreds of clothing. Then there it is – at the boundaries edge – ,” she pauses taking a breath settling back into her seat.
“A black space of nothing. That is it. Walking up to it, I had mistakenly presumed it was just more forest that was dense and dark. I was incredibly incorrect. It was nothingness that pulled me towards it. There was no going back or turning around. I was powerless against it as it sucked me deeply inside.
I was filled with terror and fear. I was sure that I would die of the terror alone. This experience is definitely not for the faint of heart. Depression and anxiety would be like infants in comparison to this nothingness. There is no light. I could not see even my fingers as they touched my face. It is unbearably cold and silent. No sounds could be heard. Not one voice. What I would have done for even a wail or cry to echo through the darkness. At times, I was not even sure I existed. I could feel nothing in any of my senses. I could not even cry out and when I tried nothing could be heard,” she uttered quickly trying to keep her composure.
“Imagine a place that even evil could not penetrate. I was nothing. I was one with nothing. I existed, but I did not. The pain even was numbed in my heart. There was no appetite, no desire, no will – no existence. Yet, I was conscious and aware. It is hard to describe,” her body slumping into the chair as if she had given into this experience once again.
“I also was not alone. I am unsure when I realized or discovered this. It could have been days or seconds. There is no way to know. Nothingness has a way of realizing your thoughts, fears and experiences. It took me a while to understand that what I was acknowledging was from within myself and the others caught in this insanity filled place.” She inhaled deeply and sighed.
“Truth was shown to me in a way I could have never expected or dreamed. I dare say that I question if I ever want to experience it this way again. However, it did prove to be what released me from this nondescript place. As I learned and acknowledged truth, light seemed to break through this darkness. I was caught in a place where the light was as intense as the darkness. It is funny. When stuck in darkness you desire the light, but when exposed to light, you desire the darkness. Either way, I could not see my own fingers in front of my face. It mattered not light nor dark. That is when I learned that nothingness is the beginning of creation. This is where the spark starts.”
“I realize now the power within me that I refused to use, it is real. I had dishonored myself deeply by keeping myself restrained, hidden and away from others. My fears that enveloped me were being broken away. How could I fear the things in our world that I had held after such terror and calmness? Can you even imagine? I don’t suppose that you could.”
She pauses for a moment and stares into the distance with eyes that almost like grey blue clouds that dance right through to one’s soul.
“I am not even sure how I had gotten out of nothingness, except to say, I just woke up. When I awoke, the same messes that I had left from mismanaging my life were there waiting for me, just a little bigger due to my absence. The same people, situations and life moving along as if I had never been gone. No one missed me. No one realized my absence. I had not left as far as life was concerned. It is reported to me that I still went to work each day and muttered by in the same in and out routines that I had always done.”
She sips her tea and holds the cup close to her face breathing in the warmth and scent of the tea.
“It is a strange experience to endure. However, through this I was able to learn the truth about one that was close to my heart. The truth about his frequent indiscretions confirmed this last parting incident was not the only time and that his confessed love for me was merely a passing phase admitted to others. The words spoken of me to others was placed in my hand for me to examine. I fully understand now and can sit in peace and gladness.”
“There is great value, importance and purpose in him. In that, he is held close to my heart. However, he isn’t the person I thought him to be. That person was merely an illusion put together by fantasies and dreams that I chose to believe. That person did not ever exist, innocence has been removed and reality firmly sits in its place. I now know him based upon his actions that have been shared with me, but not based upon his words, for in many cases the two cannot be reconciled.”
She removed a locket that held memoirs shared with this person and dangled it in the flame of the candle until a flash of flame devoured all that was contained inside. The outside of the locket blackened with soot.
“What was done cannot be undone. No matter, we still can heal, love and grow, but in that we must be willing to let go of the past, be able to remove anything that holds us to past pains and keep those things that remind us of any love that may have existed. The memoirs inside destroyed so that no one, not him, nor I or any other can make claim, but the blackened locket still yet remains simply because it existed for a time and there was some form of love therein.”
“As to what the future holds. This I cannot tell you today. The slates were wiped clean for me and I stare at it as an artist faces a blank empty canvas waiting for the muse to inspire. The old canvas is no longer painted over. Instead it was destroyed and a new one put in its place. I can go anywhere, step out in myself with my past still intact. It will always be there, a part of me, but it will not haunt me any longer. Instead, I will allow it to be exposed to encourage true love, to prove one can change and grow beyond who they are at any given place and to tell the stories that while may bring cause of great pain, also establish great strength.”
“Today, I am back to dreaming, planning and working. I am who I am and no longer will anyone hold that back, place it in a gilded cage, hide it upon a shelf or place it in a cabinet as if I was peanut butter to be used upon desire. I have discovered over this time that I do not just carry value, but I am priceless and worth far more than a night of indiscretion for the pleasure of another, nor am I submissive. I am a warrior by nature and I will learn to follow and live in truth, light, love, peace, honor, integrity, grace, mercy and justice. No more will I chase the ways of a harlot or submissive wench to be tossed about by the will of those that mean harm to my heart while claiming to protect my soul. For we both know their concern is not with my heart or my soul, but instead the use they have assigned to me temporarily.”
“It is now the time and age for me to rule over my lands without negotiation to another. I will carry my sword ready and shield myself from any experiences that mean to stop me in that which I am called out to do. No one else has to understand, nor agree with it. They do not even need to acknowledge it. For this is not about them. This experience was truly about me. In nothingness were my greatest lessons which have now become my heart. I am now ready to embark on this journey without fear, filled with passion and armed with love.”
She stood up and said, “I must now go. We will see the evidence of one another more frequently now, even if it is not face to face. I dare say, I look forward to the next time we can sit and upon that day, you shall share your story with me.”
She seemed to disappear into the shadows, flickering with the candle light. No one had seen her come in, nor had seen her go. The only evidence was the half empty cup of tea and a burnt locket left upon the table.
Can you believe nine weeks of the year has passed by so quickly? Remember, my first week was actually the last week of 2015. Yes, I was in a hurry to get started with 2016 and leave 2015 behind. It was a rough year.
This week was at a nice moderate pace, but still quite a bit happened. My teen came down with the local stomach bug, which she passed on to me. Caring is sharing, right? O.o Some things ought not to be shared. Work is speeding up and it is overwhelming, hard to keep up with, however, some of that is due to being distracted.
I was blessed with the ability to attend and photograph a Bris this past week. Those pictures are up for the family that requested them. I will be selecting a few to add to my portfolio and blog about. It was my first Bris. I did learn that the research on the internet is not actually representative of what people really do today. It all depends on the geographic area and specific group to which one belongs. They essentially, do their own versions that are based upon the same framework.
Now that is done, I am focusing my attentions on my designing, which I have been playing with and somewhat procrastinating about. I have this weekend to get designs together and done. While my head is pounding, my body aching and my stomach feels like someone lit a fire from a phaser. It will get done. I will relay. There are people counting on me and I will do most anything to raise funds for cancer research.
My self esteem is getting better, but it does go up and down in waves. It is each day, one day at a time. I am learning to make friends and how to keep them. Friendships are not instant. I have to fight against someone else’s influence in some cases, but the reality is people need to know me for myself, not through someone else. It is scary and now I understand why people spend a lot of time caring about what others think or believe about them. At the same time, I am also aware that one cannot let this control everything that they do. A person can loose themselves in that mess and as a result be dishonest with themselves and others.
I have had some conversations with friends where I actually learned a lot about them as people. One of them scares me, actually. They make me question everything that has happened during our relationship. It is the first time this person actually was genuinely honest with me and I realized that everything that I had once thought about them was basically a lie or maybe an unfounded hope. Listening to this person was interesting, but partially horrifying. I am not sure what to do or how to handle this relationship. I cannot really claim that it is truly a friendship. I actually am not really sure what it is at this point. What I am sure of is that everything I had known was an illusion and I am just getting to know this person now. I know that they leave me feeling confused and whenever they communicate with me it is like a black cloud of evil hovers about.
Fortunately, I do not find myself communicating with this individual often. I have time to figure this out. Maybe I can start by appreciating the fact that they finally trust me enough or maybe don’t view me as a threat, that they can just be themselves. The issue is, do I really want to know them? For now, I shall just stay the course and learn.
Part of the hardship for me about friendships and significant others is that I never took the responsibility seriously of getting to know someone, guarding my heart and interviewing them to determine if they would be suitable as a friend. I just figured that the people that came into and out of my life, do so for spiritual reasons. I didn’t stop to realize that I could say no. I just let relationships happen, so this choice thing is a new concept.
I am analyzing, studying and learning. I love my friends and connections, but I want to have close friends that I do things with in life. People to go out to dinner with, hang out, that just stop by to visit, go to the movies, read a book and discuss, play games, etc. You get the point. What I am realizing is that I do not need to just settle for the first person that pays attention to me, nor should I. I also do not need to settle for distant relationships. I do need to take time to get to know people and let them get to know me, the real me. Find out if we are really compatible as friends and able to build each other up. I want to be surrounded by people who love me, love to learn and want to grow together. I will find my people, my tribe one person at a time. I know many of them are right under my nose. I just haven’t taken the time to get to know them or to treat them as friends.
Underneath the noise of social media, you know, the constant “buy this, look at that, do this, me, no me, pick this, political agenda x static” people manage to connect, make friends, converse, discuss and pass secret messages about. Drama builds and explodes. Friendships grow and some blow up. Bloom is a digital representation of all that grows and blows.
Bloom was created in 01/2015 and comes in various colors. Hey blooms and booms have many colors and signs.
Social media can be fun, but without hash tags to provide emphasis or playing a game of tagging for search ability it is simply the sound of many voices whispering, talking, singing, yelling and whining at the same time. Yes, it is, art inspired by hash tags used in social media. When you have a friend that speaks “hash tag” somehow the voices are engaging in a dance off with each their own renegade beat.
Hash Tag was created in 01/2015 and this lovely bit comes in lots of colors, simply because of the many voices.