Memories versus moments

The photos of me sniffing my babies are covered in dust, thick as carpet. I remember when life was like soup broth, thin and warm and full of good things, beauty, joie de vivre. Then came the great reduction, the splitting off of people and things and places and beliefs and safety. Life is kind of gravy right now, not in an easy way, I mean the food. It takes time and energy to produce but you don't need much gravy to live on. I've learned to live with less. I'm still learning to love with less.

Through the fog of depression, love leaks out of me in long wails like a wolf at twilight. The children's happiness is as unreachable as the moon is to the wolf. Instead, my mind goes skipping off across the mirrored pond of memories using shards of broken dreams like stepping stones. They are as hard and unyielding underfoot as real rocks born of eons of pressure and heat.

Memories are mirrors because they only reflect ourselves - our perceptions, our truths, our meaning. There is no going back to understand. There is no way to break the mirror and see through to the objective truth. Many are more beautiful than the actual experience, some are even more ugly. The pain of the insults tossed my way in 7th grade? It's like the state of Texas in the nation of my memory. My brain seems bent to crystallize the bad as if to freeze it's power, to breathe in the good as if to swallow the sensation. Those glaciers of the bad times are fraught with danger - sharp ice, gaping crevices, avalanches and cold temperatures. Go exploring there, and you just might get lost forever.

Acceptance slowly leads me to see those sharp and scary parts of my life kind of like Mount Everest. I know it's there. I can see beauty there from afar. I just never, ever want to try to climb it. The view from the top isn't worth the risk. That sense of conquering? I've given that up with my youth. I don't need to be right; I don't need to be the best or brightest; I just want to survive. It would be a fool's game for me to climb up those memories in some quest for understanding or meaning.

The kids come running to cuddle when I say I need to "soak up some love". They know it means I will open the pores of my consciousness to the moment with all my will. It feels quite literally like soaking something right up into the very core of me. The dried out painful sharp-cornered wad there fills and saturates and becomes forgiving and yielding again.

Sometime soon I will master the closing of my pores to the sadness. I will let memories wash over me and bead up and fall off like water on a duck's back. I say this to myself like an affirmation, as if to will it into being. I am learning to speak positive words in the same certainty and black ink I use for the negative ones. All part of changing the voices in my head.

Meanwhile, I soften my arms for hugging. I curl the edges of my lips up into a half-smile. I bury myself in moments, pour my very soul into them. I hope that's what the world sees. I hope you see my love and not just my pain.

For that would be a successful life.