Friday, May 25, 2012

"The only way out is through"

Some years ago I explained to a therapist that I was Sisyphus AND I was the rock.  Instead of being the conversational cherry bomb that knocked some debris out the way, it sat there, unexplored.  One of the remembered and forgotten moments when I was sure I was talking in tongues.

Awareness is the telemarketer who keeps dialing your number until you answer.  Assuming, as with the Sisyphus/rock realization, that we are always all the performers, props, scripts and directors in our own dramas, I suppose I ought to take heart that any portion of my self is paying attention.  It wishes to be heard and it is relentlessly patient.

Knowing, then admitting, that each aspect of my struggle, as well as longed-for redemption, is my responsibility is wearying.  I would rather be writing about something color-drenched or lilting but fancy footwork takes energy I don't have.   My wiser self, once soft-spoken and hesitant, or so I imagine, has become insistent.  I see it watching the clock, urging me to a quicker response than I would come to on my own.  It has at its disposal the pointy stick of, oh, physical discomfort, insomnia, anxiety, the sense of everything being off.

More than 25 years ago, having arrived at the amends portion of a 12-step program, I stepped out of my car at a farmer's market one Saturday to see the person whose name was at the top of my list.  I tried to turn around, muttering, "you can't mean me, you can't mean now."  Turning back was not an option.  Now it seems, and perhaps I should say at last, putting right the wrongs against myself is not a choice, unless I am willing to let the increasingly intolerable symptoms of torpor dismantle and maim me.

As to the next step, the next, often-described, indicated thing, I am uncertain.  To write this may be a preamble to larger heroic acts. I don't feel heroic today; I barely feel present.  Such a capacity for generating interior fog will likely not make any list of personality strengths.  I do, though, believe a crisis comes when we are equal to the challenge, however inadequate we feel.  Time to answer the phone.

8 comments:

Lisa H said...

You should be writing for some widely distributed publication for cash. Tired of hearing me say that over and over yet?...

Brother Mike said...

Amen Lisa H. Marylinn this is another great post which holds something for everyone and put in your non-threatening way as usual. Makes me feel less alone and less alienated. What a treat!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - I'll never tire of hearing it and thank you. I am open to any thoughts you have on how to make that happen. All I know to do, for now, is what I'm doing. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Mike - Thank you. Hearing from you, from any and all of you, makes me feel less alone, makes painful introspection more purpose-filled. xo

Rubye Jack said...

I very much agree with what Lisa and Mike have said about how good a writer you are, but you are an even better thinker. I am the pusher of the rock and the rock itself for example, and the necessity for introspection. I often wonder if I can ever right my wrongs and decided only by leading a life as free of future wrongs as possible. Some amends can cause more harm than good and I've found best amended by good acts.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rubye - Thank you. My mind follows its own course; would that I could take credit for its best moments. The self-generated inventory of past wrongs, real or otherwise, is a huge part of what plagues and impedes us, I believe. You're right. It is not necessarily possible or kind to try and heal our old transgressions with apologies. Forgiveness of ourselves, though, is a piece we often overlook or forget. Compassion is not the excusing imperfect behavior, it is a way of loving beyond the circumstances. xo

Laoch of Chicago said...

You are the phone so there is no need to answer it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - A keen observation, one that had escaped me, whether it was tongue-in-cheek or not. More to ponder, thank you.