Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bird on a Wire
Desperately escaping the alienation of being, through the belonging of love, left me feeling bound and shackled, like a caged bird. I have discovered the impossibility of escaping my Self.

Swallowing Shrapnel
On the surface of things, I suppose I clung to the naive, romantic notion that living life authentically would give a relentless euphoria. And I forgot that I would still have to be someone and brandish some purpose upon getting what I'd desperately, savagely longed for, these many months, these many turning seasons. Mostly, though, I'd failed to taste the tragic beauty of broken things. Could anyone imagine that ending marriage would feel like swallowing shrapnel? I'd long ago lost the feverish forever I once inhabited as wife. I did nothing to spite this loss. Instead I lingered in it. I lingered in the choking thickness of grief accumulated. At some point, I stopped breathing.

Faerie Tales
I like to believe that I knew what I wanted, when I spoke of reconciliation, of patching the marriage skin in the days following my fortieth birthday. I felt so genuine, so authentic, so sure that my marriage paved the way toward healing. I sealed off my heart, and told myself that marriage would lead me to healing. Those around me smiled, as they spewed bubbly, empty words of encouragement. Except for mum. She could always see into my heart. Your husband doesn't make you happy. That's what she told me, word-for-word. She said nothing about Pilot. A pain ~ mine ~ too great, meant no one spoke of Pilot in my presence.

It's wrong, isn't it, to choose the one you're with when it looks like you can't have the one you love?
Yes, perhaps so. But, I had to; couldn't help it.

From the start, I'd entirely thrown myself down, at the foot of marriage. Marriage defined me. Marriage filled me. Marriage provided my purpose, my conduit to the universe at large. This all came at the expense of that wild spirit inside me, which demanded a solitary and separate existence, and could never surrender herself to a mate. The primal notion of existential solitude had always filled me with a hollow, bone-chilling loneliness. I constantly sought ways to move out of myself. Marriage presented me with an ideal self-diversion, because it brought duty, in the form of surrender to the union.

Duty, I told myself, dictated endurance, even and especially in the face of stiff inner resistance. Growing up, I observed a duty synonymous with self-sacrifice. For a long time I failed to see the self-erosiveness of my complete surrender to two become one. Because I felt incomplete as an individual, I desperately reached outside of myself to fill the empty hollow of existential solitude. Two become one made me feel entire, complete, whole. It made me feel like I mattered. You see, I erased the empty hollow by defining myself strictly through my relationship to others: mother, wife, nurse, daughter. Somehow, I could not venture beyond my connection to others and into myself. And so, instead I lived inside those connections, lived inside my marriage.


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