I was just outside and got distracted with a climbing vine that I am training over an archway. It is still fetal, small, its tentacles are soft and young and very unruly. It hasn’t learned how to really climb upwards, it keeps getting confused and going back in on itself. I talk to it as I try to carefully extricate itself, from itself. Then I carefully wrap that arm up and in the direction I want it to go. It’s still an unruly mess, but now it is all contained and traveling in the same direction. Controlled abandon?
As I was helping with the shoots that were splayed out into nowhere, searching for something to grab onto, I thought about myself and all my little parts, the tentacles of my personality and intellect and also my emotions. Rarely do my emotions get the best of me, rarely do I succumb to their nagging. I am a girl though, and sometimes, rarely, but sometimes I feel something much stronger than I think I should. Or my body reacts without any forewarning from my brain, and I start to cry.
This sucks by the way. It is embarrassing and seems weak. I am anything but weak. I am strong, and self-aware and sure of myself, and in general, I am the one doing to others or ‘happening,’ to others and rarely is the converse true.
This week for me has been strange. I have writers block. I suddenly have ADD too, something I’ve never experienced before. I am the queen of focus. Not this week. This week has tumbled me this way and that, and I am still feeling as if it isn’t quite over. I feel as if I need to protect and go fetal. I don’t want too, I haven’t done that in years. But still, that is where I am right now.
My tentacles need help, I need to tuck them back in, unwind the ones that went the wrong way and get them going the right way. But what is the right way?
When my mind does this to me, I am always in an existential crisis. It happened to me over and over when I was on my horsemanship journey of good-better-best-never-let-it-rest. I would reach a new level of competence and suddenly think I had no business teaching others and I probably shouldn’t even have horses. It was a moment of oh shit, I’d been doing it wrong all that time before, and just now, all of a sudden, in that moment, I got it and I would forever do it correctly.
Problem is, how do you say sorry to those you’ve taught, if you taught them wrong? It’s a tuff one for a teacher, and I am sure I am not the only one who’s taught others, that has gone through this exact thing.
I definitely need some gardeners tape wrapped around a few stray limbs just to help me stay on track. Unfortunately, I am my own keeper, and I don’t know quite how to apply.
The good thing about horses is that they forgive and forget. They are in their moments, always will be, always are. It’s over, it’s done, let’s move on. It is so much harder when our big brains fire off random memories of past wrong doings, errors and mistakes we’ve made along the way. So much harder to un-do, and then re-do. If I let this vine do whatever it wanted, and a year from now I went and tried to untangle and re-train it, I couldn’t. It would be set, it would be rigid and firm, and its soft delicate little tendrils would be hard and woody, unwieldy.
I don’t want my heart to be this way, I don’t want my soul to be hard, woody and unwieldy. So, I’ve allowed myself to open up and be honest and real, raw, truthful. The problem is that others are still responding to me like they do to all around them, as if we all lie about ourselves and we are never truly honest.
I am not like that, I am not lying at all, I am trying my darndest to be transparent, although I hate that word. I think the word naked, is better. My heart is undressed, my heart is open, my soul is exposed? I feel naked and exposed, all the time.
I said something to a writer friend. A young writer friend who is having a difficult time putting emotion into his work. I told him something interesting, and it really hit home for me as well. I said that emotions come from a place of experience. The good and the bad, they are all slowly uncovered and exposed over time, after living for a span and duration. Then, after they are uncovered, after we feel them and experience them, and whatever trigger that happened for us to see them, we either embrace them, and begin to strive to feel them again, or we start to cover them back up, push them back down, bury them, go numb.
Then they turn into this raw place, a slightly callused place that gets rubbed once in a while, and re-exposed, disturbed enough to crack open and bleed or weep. It is from there that we find depth for our words, and it is from there that we must learn to live if we want to be good writers.
The problem however is this, it’s a place of angsty upheaval, controlled abandon, governed chaos, meticulous anarchy. Plain and simple, it’s a very uncomfortable place to live. It’s your softest parts being unwound and then redirected, all without breaking, all without pruning.
I feel as if the first part of my life involved a lot of pruning. Now though? Now is so much different. I can’t just discard parts that are unpleasant, I can’t chop them off and walk away like I did before. I don’t know why I can’t, but I just can’t. So I am trying to train all these parts of myself into some sort of coherent clutter of personality, and at the same time, I am attempting to put all of that into words, to create a visual so others might feel and understand what is happening inside themselves.
That’s all. For now. In this moment. Feeling deep, too fucking deep. Sigh.