“All the Things”

I’m not a silver linings kind of gal. Not a “look on the bright side” person. Not because I insist on wallowing, but that I believe I need to allow myself to accept what is hard, or unpleasant or destructive, for what it is – honestly. I need to see this “thing” for what it is and acknowledge the real consequences.

It seems to me that looking for bright sides is gaslighting oneself. A kind of emotional sleight of hand. That said, life is full of “things”. Dark things and bright things. And sometimes it does help to keep the nourishing things in view while dealing with the things that can kill us.

I remember seeing a drawing a few years ago of a dark tangle of lines inside a small circle. It represented grief. The image was followed by a larger circle with the same size dark tangle of lines inside. The idea being that grief doesn’t get smaller, but that life goes on and becomes fuller, and the grief takes up less space in our lives.

I am no expert on grief, but this makes sense to me. And I see no reason why it wouldn’t help to look around and make my life larger in the present. To make my circle of awareness larger.

These past months have been fluid in terms of hours and activities. My tight schedule raveled and my tasks haphazardly completed – if they’ve been completed. It has felt like a working vacation. Which is neither work nor vacation. And now this new grief that spills over everything.

It’s time to tidy up. To put things in order. I can’t wipe away the trauma, that is not my trauma, that is my trauma. But I can gather all the things and put them in their place. I can’t stick grief on a shelf and turn the dark side to the wall. It is there. But there is more here.

It’s 5:30 now. The dog has been out to pee, and E. has put on his running clothes. The blackbirds are singing in the driveway and the sun is trying hard to shine through the mist. I’ve opened the small greenhouse doors. The kale has already bolted into bright yellow flowers, and the strawberries have resurrected on their own and the white blossoms are begging for bees.

Maybe this year I’ll get berries?

I know I can’t control the chaos of life. The world is random and changing. But I can create systems through which to view it. It seems to me that is a basic human instinct. Even if it is a bit like herding cats, as they say.

This morning I’m off for a run. The mourning dove (I swear) is calling now from the railway’s overhead line.

a slug on a tree stump
and her world is as soft as
ice cream on your tongue

2 Replies to ““All the Things””

  1. I’ve always wondered about people who ALWAYS see the bright side, never the other. That other interests me. You define it so well. I wish I could meet you! I think we’d be friends. Pamela

  2. That’s a big compliment, Pamela. Thank you! I think that’s why I write at all – not to be “liked” but to know other people feel similarly about things we don’t normal talk about in polite company. Beyond the Bull 😉
    I should rename my blog. hahaha


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