Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bridge from Then to Now

       Between childhood and old age is a bridge.  Beginning of the bridge, ending of the bridge.  Many off ramps to the span, off ramps that take us along mountains to climb, valleys to descend, beaches to walk along. But always, we return to the bridge.  For the beginning and the ending are invariably the same.  The routes taken are the variables.  Sometimes, I find myself sitting on the bridge, on the railing to the bridge, not contemplating shortening the bridge, but contemplating nonetheless.  What off ramp do I take?  Most recently as I sat there, on the fence, I contemplated the paths I’d taken, and wondered about the paths still to come.  Like salt and pepper, cinnamon and cloves, vanilla bean and cocoa bean, my mind became seasoned.

          What are these seasonings in life?  Those parts of me that color the me of today with the crayons of yesterday.  I am awash in internal color.  I am flooded with feelings. Mostly feelings I’d confined to the depths as a way to survive their terror in earlier parts of my life when I dare not feel them because in doing so I would understand hopelessness, I would not want to go on.  Now, I feel their intensity.  How could a child deal with feelings such as these?  Bury them deeply with grief and hopelessness.  And now, when they return, they return to tantalize me with thoughts that I am today, further along this bridge, as hopeless as that younger part of me who had no voice, no choice, no choice but to bury the feelings and to go on, to survive.  I am in awe of that younger me who went on, who survived, who flourished with achievements, who made a way in the world by connecting to school, to baseball, to friends.  Awesome. 
         I look behind me down the bridge and see this feeling me who did not deny life and the hope in life, but went forward as best she could, growing in strength, burying the feelings.  I sit and pause and feel and understand.  We are all those parts of us further back down the bridge, no matter what off ramps we have taken.  The beginning of the bridge is anchored in bedrock.  We cannot deny that child of ourself who has, to varying degrees, carried or buried our feelings for us for an entire lifetime waiting for us to connect so that we can be whole.  Often not an easy task, but one necessary for self-acceptance. 
       I still sit on the fence, because I am still pondering, still contemplating.  I’m not ready yet to move along intentionally, but I will be moved along as the world moves me along and I will react and then sit back on my fence.  I keep looking backward and waving, urging her to come along.  You contain my feelings, I tell her, I need you with me. After all, the bridge, for me, has always been about words and as I look forward I see many paths to take.   I may have the words, but you have the feelings and we are one.  The Alpha and the Omega. 

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