Saturday, June 21, 2014

the allegory of the field


as much as i’d like to go
to places i’ve never known,
scared shitless to leave home,
and i don’t want to go alone.
i miss the rewarding gaze
of a friend from my younger days,
didn’t mind ‘bout my selfish ways
 -  “So Much For Everyone”, Dan Mangan

My head is full with thoughts of endless grief
It threatens to swallow me whole unchewed
And sadness consumes comfort like a thief
A solid wall of torture I can’t break through
Contemplation of that which has long past
Struggles with what demand my attention now
I can’t look foreword without looking back
I cannot look back without standing still
With every new day comes change bittersweet
The passing of time helps memories fade
Yet somehow things still just seem incomplete
Because all those thoughts I would not soon trade
I have no choice but to move on from here
Or to stay motionless and disappear



   So there I stood, on the edge of this big, wide-open field trying to pull this enormous cart full of heavy fragments.  
No path apparent to follow, no tracks to help guide the wheels. 
Just me. 
Just a heavy wagon to haul.  In unchartered territory. 
For a long time I was stuck there in the mud, the wheels would not budge. 
I could only stand there. 
Still. 
Unwilling to let go of the wagon-handle.  Can’t go back.  Can’t go forward. 
I don’t remember how long it took me to realize that there was no way to continue forward with all I was trying to bring.  There was no gluing back the pieces to try and make it less cumbersome; the things that were shattered were beyond repair.  I was going to have to leave some pieces behind. 
But with every bit I laid in the grass, no matter how small, was an internal struggle.   Because, for me, taking something out and leaving it behind was saying that I was okay with what broke it in the first place. 
Sometimes I would lie something down only to pick it right back up again. 
When I did let something go I would have to stand there and watch it, almost until the grass grew over it.  
Eventually, and with painstaking effort, my cart was a little lighter and I began to venture a little further into this field. Every step was an enormous effort.  It was so hard to pull, so occasionally I would allow someone to lend a hand for a very small length,
but they could only pull.  No one could take things out of my cart except for me. 
It was my burden. 
Soon, the tall grass gave way to a rocky, barely-visible path.  Again, I was stuck there for a long while, because to get up onto the path I was going to have to take more broken pieces out of the cart.  I would also have to have some help pushing it onto the path.  I didn’t want that help, and though I knew the pieces could not be repaired I wasn’t willing to let any more of them go.  Accepting that the help or being glad to have found the path was, again, (to me) like saying I was happy the pieces were shattered, that I was okay with what had smashed them. 
I vehemently defended my cart against imaginary foes. 
When I became so exhausted that I was sure to lose myself there, buried in the shards, I allowed it to be pushed up onto the path and for some things to be taken out of the cart.  I set out to traverse the narrow path full of potholes and puddles. 
  It is easier to progress with a lighter load, though there are many obstacles.
The path is becoming more defined with every day I stay the course. 
Sometimes a shard will fall out of the cart and I’ll let it go. 
Sometimes I don’t even notice when a small piece goes missing.  
Sometimes I feel okay about it. 
Sometimes I let people walk with me for a bit. 
Sometimes I still want to run back and find all the missing pieces because I’m not okay with what broke things. 
Sometimes a flower or a pretty scene will undo a whole days progress because in being glad to see them I feel guilty.  My joy came at a price and I am afraid that continuing on this path makes it seem like I am okay with the loss that made my journey possible. 
*I hear that up ahead there might be tracks for my wheels and then I might even be able to add some unbroken things to my haul.  By that time I might have even gotten rid of enough to make room. 
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Since I haven’t posted in quite some time, and I don’t know when I will be able to find time to post again, I am also going to share some shots I took for my digital photography presentation entitled “the empty chair”. 











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