Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year Revolution

       With six loads of laundry folded before the sun was even up on New Years morning, I wish I could say I had felt accomplished.  The truth, however, was that in that damp dark dawn we call a holiday, I was awake too early and alert with fear and worry about what may or may not lie ahead.

       In the darkness, it is too easy to become overwhelmed by the prospect of matching all that should be done and could be done with what is realistically possible.  Like shadows against the moon, expectations grow larger.  Resources seem to shrink.  Complicating the perspective,  the prayers and concerns of family and friends have more influence, darkening the impact of what they might think should I succeed or fail.
       In the bright glare of the laundry light are three other men I know to be older and single doing this task at such a ridiculous hour because we have no one else to be with, a sad bond that none of us acknowledges with even a sideways glance.  In our own isolated worlds, we sort and fold and keep ourselves busy on the internet in between to keep ourselves intent on tasks instead of thinking.

Attitude is everything

       The fact is that the laundry is a necessary accomplishment and leaves me free to pursue other things in the day wearing the bright colors of my favorite shirt that had been stuffed away since last week.  The mind has created the fear while the body has actually crossed something off the list.
       The state of my own emotions project realities on myself and others that may have little to do with the actual truth, but only my thoughts are making it so.  None of these men may be as morose as I think, but are simply taking advantage of the time, doing their work and play, and are ultimately content. 
     Although I smell of loneliness at the laundry, in this version of a locker room, we have the opportunity to model for each other that life goes on even without a woman to feed and please us and more importantly to be a companion through thick and thin.  In this moment, my mind creates, defines and judges the difference.

Look Deeper and See the Surface

       I can trudge through the darkness full of weary sighs expressing the sad fact of such lonely feelings or step by step ponder the choices that have led me here to this place of quiet self-conversation.  The light and the darkness are both within my reach.  The steps I am taking are the same and only my head struggles to make sense.
       The chatter of many other voices can fill my quiet and surround me with coulds and shoulds from their own perspectives.  Having taken big risks and committed to love several times over, danced in the circle and held little ones close, plenty of eyes watch and wonder.  With the best of intentions and varying degrees of emotional investment, they are still waiting for something more solid to rise from the ashes and their anxious presence affects my mood.
       The challenge is to sit in the pre-dawn silence and listen to the song of my own voice.  These others are principals in their particular stories, but only characters in mine.  Focused on my own heart, I must apply filters and go deep within to find the clarity and assurance that will create the day of sunshine we all want for each other.

For Better or Worse

       The journey has brought me here.  My dusty floor and half-finished cabinets, this pile of laundry are evident because I have focused on scribbling these many words that have landed on the pages of my book instead of making my environment tidy.  That is an accomplishment!
       Some can do both.  I apparently have issues or at least value other combinations that may or may not make sense to even me much less to anyone else, but they are mine nevertheless.  I am not victim, but choose to wear them proudly on my sleeve.
       That we have choices is the key to remember in the darkness amidst the swirl of indecisions.  It is important to forgive ourselves for being occasionally immobilized or confused.  Without that, our footsteps get slower and slower, the laundry piles up and the bright colors of my favorite shirt remain buried where they have no chance to brighten my spirits.
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