Beautiful Danger

 

​I am often moved, even overwhelmed by all that I’ve been blessed with in this life, as well as that which has been taken from me.  When I stop to consider this, I feel neither deserving of what I have, nor ultimately wronged by what has been taken.  After all, nothing is ever ‘ours’ to begin with, and sometimes our most painful scars leave us changed in a way no good thing ever could have done.

It has not always been so simple, of course.

I have lived through seasons in which quite the contrary was true, where all I wished was that I might somehow erase my story from the earth itself, feeling more jaded and alone than I could express, aware only that my wounds were deeper than anyone could possibly see or know…..so I buried them.   My heart was known by no one and I worked hard to keep it that way, lest the truth of my story and the pain it held be seen.  To disappear from everything and everyone became my standard mode of life, and the smaller and more obscure I became, the safer I felt. The world was better off without me and the pain I carried into it.

I did not feel moved by what I had or what I’d lost. I felt nothing, for survival required it.  My walls  served me well for the time I needed them, surely one of the given graces bestowed upon us when endurance alone is not enough to keep us alive.

The only trouble with this sort of thing is coming back out of it once the danger has passed, back into a world of joy and pain.

After years of perfecting the art of solitude, independence and camouflaging oneself from the world, it is most unnatural and even painful to begin to feel again, even the good.  To open oneself to joy and hope means to open oneself to pain and loss, and coming from a place of self-preservation, doing so makes absolutely no sense.  At the time it seemed that nothing was worth feeling those sorts of wounds again, or anything at all for that matter.  The dark solitude of impenetrable silence had become my home, and I had learned to live there without most people even knowing it.

But I knew.  Some little spark of life inside me still existed and wouldn’t let me forget it.  It haunted me.  There remained, after all those years, my heart; surrounded by a hundred walls a mile wide, but beating on inside nevertheless.  And unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it) my heart was always the most dangerous part of me, for when I chose to love it was deep and forever.  Though careful and infrequent in it’s choosing, there was never any halfway about it.  All or nothing seemed to be it’s motto, and it was a non-negotiable as far back as I could recall.

Perhaps that is why I have guarded it so fiercely, and why I felt such drastic measures were necessary to hide it away at the time.  Any connection to the world and my heart was in danger of putting the whole of me at risk.

And I was done with risk. I knew the cost of letting it out again and feeling beauty and looking into the souls of human beings.  I knew I could ‘live’ without any of it.  But did I want to?

For a while I convinced myself I did, but ultimately it was my heart that won.  For somewhere in the deepest part of me I really did not believe in that dark place and knew that there was something beautiful yet to be found beneath the scars I carried.  It was, perhaps, the most difficult and most brilliant decision of my life.  I had to battle for it, and I had to battle hard.  It took time, patience, and the the humility of asking for help because I knew I could not do it on my own.

But it was so worth it.

Why have I told you all of this?   I’m not actually sure, I did not intend to go there when I began………I suppose I didn’t know where I was going. My writing often seems to find it’s own way,  I simply write down the words as they pass by.  I suppose I have to wonder if there is another soul out there reading this who been where I’ve been, or somewhere close to it.  Somewhere in that dark place, wondering if it’s worth it out where life breathes and lives and dies. Coming from a tender heart who’s lived fully in both worlds, I must tell you the truth.

It is.

As difficult as it is to come back out of that place, it’s all worth it no matter how much you ‘lose’ in the end. You see, somewhere along the way I realized its not about keeping hold of what you cherish, avoiding whatever pain you might encounter, or living in such a way that you sacrifice life truly lived for a heart left unscarred.  For nothing good we ever encounter is ours for the keeping but a joy to be loved as it crosses our path.  No wound is ever inflicted without also leaving the opportunity for that heart to shine brighter and warmer and softer than before.  And no heart beats as it was truly meant to beat if it remains in the confines of safety.  Hearts were not made to be safe, they were made to be free.

I stopped living in safety and became ok with laughing again, grieving and living in danger of love.  Because my heart needed to be free, and so did I.  Life, I found, is too short and precious to waste in a safe dark place where we forget what it is to be alive.  I don’t regret my past or my story any longer, for it’s part of whats made me who I am, and I’m grateful for all of it.

 

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“It is by scars I love”

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My Fiendish Feline

It has recently become clear to me ​that my cat, by any and all means imaginable, has become determined to ​conduct himself in the most ​bizarre manner possible in my presence, thus imposing either madness or laughter upon his human experiment.

Me.

So far amusement has (for the most part) been the only product of his trial runs, although as we progress, I’m beginning to wonder if he might be getting closer and closer to driving me out of the house.

I once heard that cats actually believe, in their strange little feline psyches, that it is we who need them, not the other way around. They allow you to touch them because they feel they are doing you are favor, and that when you feed them you (the measly simple-minded human) are simply doing your due diligence in giving back to them, your master.

Your Cat Master.  Muahahaha

At this moment, I  imagine you might be peering over suspiciously at your once oh-so-sweet kitten as she licks her paw, and you’re beginning to notice things you’ve somehow never noticed before. A daring little glimmer in her eye, a claw held out a bit too long, a raised eyebrow. Oh, oh,  did she just roll her eyes at me?

Yes, yes she did.

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Now, while I have no real proof or knowledge on this, as canines not felines are my area of aptitude, I have my reasons to believe this is quite within the realm of possibility. You see, my cat is acting in a manner which strongly suggests he believes himself to be the man of house and I, his darling little housemaid.

This was not, as I recall, our agreement when I brought his scrawny little arse inside and nursed him back to health when he was so small he fit inside my hand . No, I believe at that time I was in charge.

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Or was I? I think I’ve been flimflammed.

And do you know why?  Well, to begin, he’s redecorating my home.

Every morning before I get up, he begins by selecting make-up brushes from inside a container on the bathroom sink with his teeth.  It’s like he’s playing pick-up-sticks, carefully sliding them up and out without tipping over the container or touching the rest of them. I can hear him as I lie in bed trying to pretend I hear nothing.

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After making his collection on the counter, he somehow transports each of them to the floor and buries them under bathroom rug in a rather eerily straight line. At this point he laughs maliciously to no one in particular, comes bolting out of the bathroom like a madman, and lands directly on top of my head as I hide under the covers of my duvet.

“I know what you’ve done” I tell him as I remove him from my face.

He just purrs and smiles at me fiendishly.  I swear I’ve seen him wink

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It doesn’t matter how many times a day I return the brushes to their proper place, they constantly end up buried under my feet.

Every once in a while I’ll catch him in the act of carrying one to the floor.  He just sort of freezes  in his tracks with the thing hanging from his mouth like a dog with a bone and stares at me with big, wide eyes as if I might not see him. I just stare back at him, waiting to see how long it takes him to move.

The thing is, he never does. I end up poking him to make sure he’s still breathing, at which point he says ‘gotcha’ in cat speak and runs off with his tail held high.  Never heard your cat speak, you say?  Just listen. She will.

When it comes to the dogs, I’m afraid I face an entirely new set of problems.  If I, in the mind of a cat, am a mere human, the dogs are at a level even lower than that. They’re brutes at best, and while Loki accepts them for what they are, there is no denying he believes himself to be wholly above their species. He also believes he is their caretaker.

Yes thats right.  90lb Lola and 160lb Goober belong to a puny little 6 pound feline.

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He swipes at them when he feels they just need a good swipe, cleans them when he believes a bath is in order, and talks to them out-loud when he thinks they could use some company, or perhaps just a good talking to.   Most interestingly, in my opinion, is his obsession with burying their poo in the back porch the moment their little arses let it out. Sometimes before they’re finished letting it out.

Good Grief.

I am sorry had to mention that part,  just didn’t really feel you’d get the whole picture of things without it.

You see, normally I’d step outside to clean up after the dogs a few minutes after the fact to, you know, give them some privacy.  Loki apparently feels no need for such a thing, so now by the time I arrive there are just giant mounds of wood chips scattered about, hiding things I’d rather not find at a later time.  There is, of course, only one thing to do at this point, and that is to go treasure hunting.

Yeah.

I could go on and on about the other things he does to me- about me opening a cabinet he’s been hiding inside for hours only to have him come flying out like some holy terror to scare the bejeebies out of me, or how he’s purposefully trapped himself inside the giant dog food container and turned himself into a bowling ball bomb ready to explode overnight, or how he hides all his toys inside the couch cushions and under my bed sheets.

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I could, but I won’t.  As mischievous as he is, I love him to pieces for it and wouldn’t trade him for the world.  He fits right in, I suppose, and makes my life even more laughter-filled than it was before. How he found me, I’ll never know, but I suppose he knew I needed him after all.

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