Saturday, June 30, 2007

Right here in this place

We all have a place to put those bad events. Don't we? We keep them somewhere -- here, right here in this place.

We lock them in a backroom, a closet, a castle, a basement, somewhere we won't have to look. Still they are near, right here in this place. We don't look. We look away. That is the place where we put things we fear.

Hope is good. We hope.

We hope, if we do . . . if we do, that we won't know feelings that might have hurt us some then ago.

We put them in this place, right here in this place. It's like erasing them,. No, not erasing them. It's like banishing, vanishing, making them disappear from a faint-hearted view. Too big, they are. Too powerful for the small one we are here. We are small right here in this place.

Like potatoes, they lie in the dark, dampness waiting to make them uglier, swell them with stuff that wasn't what was ever there. Suddenly if we visit them, they are bigger than, bigger then.

We are bigger too. Yet that doesn't come to us. We shrink instead at the thought of revisiting the cellar, the dungeon, the cupbard where we left our fear from our view.

Oh, oh, what if we stopped at a mirror and looked in? Say we say that we're more now than we were then, right there then. Standing taller we could think on our smaller self and say, "Not to worry, not to shrink back. I'm here, I'll steer that ugly thing away from us, all swelled up I'll make sure it cannot touch you or me. It will not do what it did once a long time ago."

Opening the windows, the doorways, we let the light in.

We hope. Hope is good.

We hold our breath, let in the light, and walk to the place where we hid what we most feared.

Oh, oh, the light has banished it, vanished it. It has disappeared.

On the air that blows through is a word,


Always we held in our reach. We always held right here.

It was locked up right here in this place too.
--me strauss Letting me be


Dawn said...

This is a very powerful post, Liz. You describe the process so clearly. As I have gotten older, I have discovered that after enough time has gone by, all the fears, bad experiences, things I have locked into my own dungeon, have decomposed over time. I stay on one side of the door keeping the key in a secret place, still fearful or hurt, while actually all that I've kept at bay has let itself go and surrendered. It has returned to the stuff of earth, like humus on the forest floor, and there is such fertile ground there now, if only I would wander through more often.

This post reminded me of some real growth-producing times in my life. Thank you.

Kirk M said...

There came a time in my life where everything became black and white and at best, shades of gray. I despised everything and everybody. I was at a cusp where the responsibilities (taking care of ailing parents) were horrendous and my life was at a major turning point. The kind of change that you survive...or don't. I found out three things.

It doesn't take drugs or alcohol to hit "rock bottom". Not at all. It's finding your life turned upside down and losing everything you ever knew so quickly there is no time to adjust. Simple as that and it can happen just like that.

The second thing I learned is that it's not hitting rock bottom that drives one to consider ending one's life...hitting rock bottom means you're forced to look hard at the "dirty" side of your soul, you're "place" as you put it. You have no choice and it's that looking that can drive one to end their life. And the third thing I learned is...

I could never take the life that I was given. My life had been filled with all sorts of unusually unique experiences, both good and bad and all marvelous and to take away what had been built up over all those years would be unforgivable.

Funny how you put it in your post Liz, about how you made to the allusion of a place or a room where the bad things are because that's how I saw it also. I forced open the door and walked in and saw the light streaming in from the cracks and seams of the boarded up windows. I took a deep breath and pried those boards off and the sun streamed in. I propped open the windows with the very boards I had pried off and turned around for a look. The room was full of dust and cobwebs and in the center of the room was a pile of trash. Some in bags, some loose...all the nasty experiences of my life were there. So I went over and sat down in front of the pile (it seemed not as big as I thought it would be) and started picking through it one piece at a time. Those pieces that obviously didn't matter anymore I threw into a discard pile to be thrown out when I was done until all that was left was those experiences that I had failed to learn from before. And one by one I picked them up, turned them over and took them apart...and I learned what I should have learned before.

When I had finished, I bagged up the discards, put them outside the door and swept the place out. I left the windows open and the last thing I did was remove the door and prop it against a wall inside the room. I shouldered my broom, picked up the trash bag of discards and made my way back to reality.

It took a few years before reality's sun started to shine for me and I began to see the world in color again but I found that climbing out of the well I fell in and reaching the top was only the beginning (as I lay on the grass catching my breath from the climb). Now I had to continue on for nothing had changed as far as reality was concerned...only my outlook.

It's a different life now and it's a continuation. I'll never again regret anything that came before. Answers to those questions everyone asks about who, what, where and why they are or why "this" happened, have slowly come my way, always when I least expect it, something that never happened before that fall to the bottom of the well.

And life is good again.

Liz, you trigger the darnedest things in me. Thank you. I won't even apologize for the long comment. :D

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dawn,
I know you know what I am talking about here. Though we've not really talked much about it. We have talked all around it.

I've never felt the need to give you a tour of my room, or to see yours. Maybe that's because I emptied it years ago and now I visit to make sure it stays clean and well lit.

I so like your fertile ground metaphor. :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Kirk,
Ah finding a hole in the universe the same size as our parents. Oh man, that's something no one can fully understand unless he or she has experienced it. My parents died four years apart in my late 20s. At 29/30, I had to rebuild a a sandy foundation on concrete.

I understand what you're saying.

We have so much to talk about I can't imagine a comment too long.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a room like that too, until I had a major accident which put me in hospital for months. Pain does strange things to you.
Since then I exorcise anything bad and give it wings so it can settle somewhere else, like in the mountain I can see from my window.

Kirk M said...

Hi Liz,

Looks like you understand at that. That's why I posted this here. I haven't told that story anywhere else. Funny how things work out isn't it? The last place I'd ever thought of telling that tale was through a comment on a blog. If you hadn't written that post it probably never would have been told at all. It really didn't need to be but I'm glad of the opportunity though.

I believe that I may actually modify the comment a bit and turn it into a post. Still thinking about it though.

You are a wonder, Liz

ME Strauss said...

Hi BothEyes,
Physical and mental pain, anguish, can break us or lead to find our origins. I think that Benjamin Franklin was the one who said, Things that hurt insruct.

I look to lay down my pain as soon as I recognize that I am able to. Sometimes it takes me while to move away long enough to notice I'm not the center of the universe. :)

ME Strauss said...

Hello Kirk,
Yeah, I know. Funny how that hole became a conduit that I use often to visit the universe. We don't really get to know our parents as people until we fully separate from them. I guess that's what the bonding as a baby is all about.

When I finally could look back and see who they were as people. My only regret was that my son never met them.

But he never would have met the people that I knew anyway.

This is a place to hide out to tell stories by riverbank near old white oak tree at the edge the back yard behind the house where I grew up.

Telling stories and remembering is like cycling back to pick the things we forgot to learn. :)

Janus Torrell said...

Only way to fight the dark is expose it to the light.

good and deep stuff

Richard said...

Hello Liz, you don't know me and apologies for coming in unannounced, but I happened upon your blog via a mutual fellow blogger and just felt the need to say thank you!

I have recently been in that room and ripped off the shutters, thrown the doors wide, exposing some very deeply repressed and very dark secrets. On reading your entry and the associated comments, I'm now of the opinion I did the right thing. I also take comfort from knowing I'm not the only one.

Thank you so much...


ME Strauss said...

Hi Januw!
Thank you. That means a lot.:)

ME Strauss said...

Hello Richard,
No apologies. My blog is open to you and you're welcome to come in. :)

I think we all have a room or a place like that. I'm glad you found yours and had a positive epxerience letting the light in. It's great to know that we've let the bad things out. :)

Dr.John said...

Sometimes we need help getting light into the dark places in our life.That's where the Church can offer us forgiveness .

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dr. John,
I think the Church can forgive, but the key is in forgiving ourselves.

Jill said...

Sounds like a good idea. Got any room for my stuff?

ME Strauss said...

Hi Jill,
Nope. Sorry. I let my stuff go to make room for the sunlight. :)