Poetry Month, Day 22: Conundrum

Conundrum

Am I not dancing
Because I’m in pain,
Or am I in pain
Because I’m not dancing?
These are the questions I ponder
As I feel or fear
My art
Slipping away from me.
Should I push through the pain,
The exhaustion,
The simply not wanting to?
Or should I coast gently into the sunset
Of my disability?
For the first time in over sixteen years of effort,
Just
Let
It
Win?
The thought is strangely enticing.
The soft, slow drift of un-effort
The lambent caress of no-pain
The quietly darkening days
Until everything, everything
Reaches a slow tempo and quiet
Where I can live
Gently.
Gentle is a word I crave
I hunger for gentle
As a child hungers for sweets.
Again,
I do not know if this
Is depression,
Or an acceptance of reality.
Sometimes hope is the delusion.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Obviously, I’m a couple days behind. This poem explains why. :} I’m planning to catch up, although it may be after the month is up. I’m sticking with it!!

Where to start?

Well, on the cusp of dramatic change again here. Mom and Dad left for Florida this morning, so – except for a much-anticipated visit from me in late December – I won’t see them until April. Ugh. I realize how much they ground me and emotionally bolster me when they’re not around… the phone just isn’t the same. More, I really *like* them and enjoy their company (even when, as yesterday, Dad opens a political discussion I’m not interested in pursuing, and things get a little unfortunate). Man. I need to make some new friends.

I’ve tried a few friend liaisons, but nothing really satisfying or lasting so far. Murph. So frustrating, but – and I keep reminding myself of this – in some ways, I’ve cast off (and been cast off by) so many trappings and traps of my former life, that this is the obvious time to rebuild, reload, reformat.

To change it up.

Pursuant to this, I am finally and well and truly done with a former co-worker’s shenanigans. Her frequent mean-spirited hysteria, the blindsides aimed at manipulating me into this or that behavior, the gaslighting intended to make me feel incapable and insane, and the just plain abuse – I’ve reached a level of dull, uncaring just-don’t-give-a-shit-anymore that makes it difficult for me to raise a work ethic. And I can’t bear to watch myself burn out this way, simply through the desensitization of dealing constantly with a conscienceless narcissist. If I can’t rekindle my love for dance, better that I leave it or at least change how I participate. It’s been 15 years in February; perhaps it’s time to do something new.

I’ve been defending my passion vehemently for the past year, but I’ve also been watching, with unease, my creeping exhaustion with the personality issues involved in this line of work. Add to that that I’m just not as good at it as I’d like to be – my body is increasingly ill-suited to the flexibility and stamina demands, and especially so as I fight chronic pain, arthritis, and the seemingly-inevitable tip over into winter depression.

So what does my future hold? Perhaps a change in work. Perhaps a change in residence, at least for a while. Certainly a change in me, continuing with the force of the encroaching tide: subtle but unstoppable. I wouldn’t go back to the woman I used to be, even if I could.

What I want out of life: passion, joy, fulfillment, chances to listen to the peacefulness within. I’m slowly peeling away the shells and influences that separate me from these goals, and trying to find better (? newer) avenues.

Here’s hoping.

Solstice (Equinox?) – Whatever!! Divorceiversary!!

Happy Solstice!! And on Saturday, it will be one year since my divorce. Feeling pretty good, coasting right along. Continuing to get feet under me – apparently I have more feet than a centipede. Vaguely surprised I’m still not dating, but they say “give yourself a month for every year of the marriage”, so I’ve still got several months to go by that measure… or if we go by how long the marriage was firm and stable, well, it’s probably about enough now. lol I’m juuuust about ready, I think. Starting to seriously look around, to seriously entertain the idea. To think about kissing again, to remember how fine that was. The firm sweet slide of someone else’s lips against your own… the tremor of anticipation mixed with excitement…

Oh, man. Yeah. That was just fine. I wouldn’t mind another first kiss. :} Or a second. Or a third. 😀

Yup yup.

In any case, this weekend, for my divorceiversary, I’ll be teaching at my biggest ever event to date. Should be amazing. I’m a little nervous, but I’m ready and prepping and hoping to just knock it out of the freaking park, so I can relax and enjoy the weekend for what it is. And note the passage of time, but not dwell on it.

Here’s to the passage of time making this better. :}

UPDATE: Erm… Equinox. I think I meant, “Equinox”. lol I am many kinds of a swot, but astronomy is not one. 😀

Building up to letting go

Once again, Fall is upon us. If I were being “trite but clever”, I might write, “Fall is falling upon us”, but it really isn’t this year. It did sock my neighborhood pretty hard last week, with sudden cold temperatures and a shock of cold, pelting rain that was followed by three days of unrelenting chilly drizzle… but hey, that’s Fall. Now we’ve settled into a pleasant Autumnal pattern of mid-to-upper 60 degree sunny days with white puffy clouds, cold nights (my mom used to call it “good sleeping weather”), and soon-to-be-frosty mornings. The dog does his business much more quickly now, and I’m thinking, “oh, buddy… get ready. This is nothing.” If it stays like this for another month or two, I’ll be ok with it. :} Implicit in that comment, however, is the duality of doubt. More than doubt. Certainty: it won’t. Dammit. lol

So I’m getting ready for another milestone here: Mom and Dad are getting ready for their annual decampment to Florida for 6 months, and I’m frankly dreading it. Trying not to, trying to simply experience that feeling without judgement and let it go and all that good stuff, but I can’t help remembering that this is when it all started to fall apart last year. This is when it all… just… went south (so to speak). The beginning of my darkness.

Now, I’m in a completely different place emotionally and mentally. And spiritually. But I haven’t built a support system yet. Still looking for a job (about to take some new steps there, but that’s another story for another day).

However! I’m enjoying these last 3 weeks with them before they go, and I’m trying to build myself up. Get ready for it. Be positive. Tell myself that despite what happened this year, when Mom’s gone this time, she won’t get cancer again. Because that – something happening to them while they’re so far away – is my biggest fear. Ugh. OK. And if it does, well then. We’ll answer it when it comes. We’ll do what we must, when we must. (And I love how I am speaking as though I have companionship, because that makes the fear seem less.) I’ll do what I have to. What has to happen, will happen. Because there are no alternatives. I’ll just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other.

Yup. So I need to make this “letting go” not about letting Mom and Dad go South, but about letting go of my fear of the future. It’s out there, and it’s unalterable. I can’t change it, I can’t fix it. I can prepare for it, but I refuse to live my life braced and in a bomb shelter. That’s horrible. So I’m going to try to shake the stiffness and the cramps out of my limbs, and just… let go.