/*amazon_ad_exclude = "christian"*/ The Skin I Am In: Life Or Limb

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life Or Limb

I stand hovering at the edge of the cliff. I peer over to gage whether or not I feel I can make the jump. I'm not quite sure. Although it is a long way down it is the fear in not knowing what lies at the bottom of this infinitely vast canyon delaying my decision. Since I am, at least, too sensible to lunge in unpreparedly my maneuvers are done in a deliberate manner which will not only serve to buffer the fall, but will allow a way back up in the event that The Great Unknown turns out to be worse than my fate here on the cliff.

I haven't always been teetering. For even before living near the safe center of this plateau, I resided in a canyon similar to the one I currently regard so mysteriously. Back when my adulthood was still in its infancy, I had had to make the climb just to acquire the elevated flatland on which I now stand. Upon landing I was afforded a better view of my future than I had ever had and it seemed as though I had reached the top of the world.

At the onset I was shown a particularly favorable season and my naivety and optimism prevented me from questioning the longitude of those ideal conditions. I failed to realize that the sun god works his magic, shining extra brightly upon the arrival of a newcomer. Although he does not intend to deceive, he eventually becomes weary and can not afford the energy it takes to continue the act of always radiating such warmth. Now clouds too often cover what used to shine so frequently and the love I had found which inspired me to climb here in the first place, the love that once felt so pure and real and unconditional appears darker in the shadows where I am not so blinded by the magic of the sun's early light.

Although things naturally change and evolve, much of what was displayed was more illusion than reality. It has taken a long time before I looked beyond superficial appearances to realize that my mate who shows affection with a touch or a squeeze, lacks the deeper and more important functions of compassion. It's as if his vision of love developed from a gesture he had seen in a black and white snapshot.

It isn't entirely his fault, for his upbringing was one of great dysfunction where love was taught to be conditional, not absolute. Seeking his mother's affection he attempted to warm her cold and unpredictable state with a stroke or a hug, getting little in return. Yet, there comes a time in each life where personal responsibility must be taken for one's own shortcomings. Throughout our union, he has repeatedly allowed the very wolves that raised him to prey on me as they do him, while defending their predatory actions. No amount of pleading or desperation could save me. Any attempts I made at self-preservation were condemned and destroyed. Even in other instances when I have been victim to crime and misfortune he, my one partner in this land, he who claims to love me, has repeatedly denied aid as I lie begging for his helping hand. By leaving me to fend for myself even in my darkest hours, it has forced me to conjure up strength and find my resolve. Ironically, he lacked the foresight to predict that these very traits would serve to his detriment when I utilize them to make the leap from the
cyclical fate of this linear plateau.

The most difficult part is that I have built my entire life upon this flatland. And while it has supplied a good resting place, render a lasting environment for growth and development, it does not. The stifling climate has limited my creativity and depleted my loving nature. My enthusiastic "what if's" have changed to regrettable '"if only's". I fear if I stay it will suck my spirit dry.

A more simple creature might be satisfied with nothing more than the shelter and stability provided. But I did not choose my mate solely for his capacity to successfully hunt and gather wood. Looking no deeper than this there are surely other hunters even more proficient that I could pursue. Yet I long for more. I long to live. I envision a land where the sun shines regularly and where there are other creatures who also appreciate that our short lives do not have to solely revolve around familiarity and responsibilities. I envision finding a soul who shares common ideals whilst enjoying the adventure of growth and discovery. Even before embarking with another, I envision further continuance of self exploration which will be enhanced by resuming sole responsibility over my life and making my own decisions--decisions which aren't affected by one who, as history has shown, frequently doles poor counsel. And I must redevelop my instincts which, when listened to, generally lead me in the right direction. Spending many years under the influence of one man's simplistic trains of thought has caused me to lose confidence in my ingenuity and resourcefulness.

Recently I did something slightly more than hover. Practicing some preliminary steps, I descended just far enough to gander into the dark abyss, watching for any obvious hazards should I jump. I first collected a piece of timber and ignited the end so I could illuminate, albeit scarcely, the land below. The unforgiving flames approaching my fierce grip on the makeshift torch ensured my viewing time was limited, but I bravely clutched it for as long as I was able--for in order to execute this plan, one must overcome a fear of getting burned. I was able to shed just enough light to reduce my anxieties and plot my next move. I know it is time to start strapping up, as I am not getting any younger.

I do not expect those who measure success in outward appearances or pride themselves in their practical nature to understand my plight. One may ask, why risk life or limb to venture to an unknown place that hints at possibilities but promises nothing?

A valid inquiry, yet I challenge the value of life and limb if your spirit is already gone.


Tamera said...

You write beautifully, BE. Never stop. Please. As for the content, we are just sharing through reading, a journey you are travelling, and you will lead yourself right. Right for you. Whatever that is. Anyone that would judge that has not walked the same path, and for those of us that have? You will only receive compassion. It is as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Phenom. So incredible to take such a soul-sucking situation and make it sound so incredible. You have vision. Run to the light you offer to others. Good luck.

Tamera said...

Yes, I'm back. Something I can't quite let go of here, but I don't know quite what the 'what' is. It is probably not important. I think (????hehe) I came back to ask if your partner has heard several times that he 'can't, won't, or is unable' to show and feel compassion? Is he listening to others that he thinks knows more of these issues when he feels clueless?

soulMerlin said...

" I envision finding a soul who shares common ideals whilst enjoying the adventure of growth and discovery."

I left my wife many years ago because she wanted to build a home and a family and I wanted to be independent.

I returned like Odysseus many years later because I wanted to find a home and a centre, to find that she was at a stage in her life where she needed solitude.

You can only follow your soul, but that is not necc' a guarantee of a happy ending.

In any case, it's not about endings. It's about the process.

Death does not wait for the end of a sentence .

best wishes ~ henry


The_Mrs said...

I only hope the best for you on your journey - whatever that journey holds.

I haven't taken this particular one, but I've come close in different ways. You have the strength already, you just have to believe it with your every fiber.

piebuko said...

There goes the answer to my question. You write so poetically...so beautifully...
but at the same time, what you wrote is just so sad.
It always is when dreams end.
I really hope that you and your husband would be able to fix things.

FerdC ~ Crazy Medical Cases said...

My heart goes out to you, BE. Having been through the loss of a 25 year marriage, I can relate to the pain and profound sadness at what was lost. The dreams. The potential. The years.
I'm 5 years out of it now, and I can more clearly see my role in it. I am responsible for a lot of it, for the amends, and for my own growth. I'm glad to have an amiable relationship with my ex, the mother of my 4 children. That's important to me. I honestly want her to be happy. But I know that both of us made the right decision, hard as it was. After our split, it took a lot of good work and soul searching to finally be alright.
Many people have jumped off the edge before you, into oblivion, for the hope of something better. With your own good work, and the wise counsel of those who love you, I believe that things will turn out just fine.
All the best to you, BE, and to your husband, too.

Nonna said...

So eloquently penned, so painful to read, so raw and true to your inner self.

In times like this in my life I've found it helpful to step back and ask myself what lessons am I to learn from this experience? In my spiritual beliefs, we are here to learn lessons in order to further the growth and development of our soul. I had a similar experience with someone I loved, and as it fell apart I stepped back and realized that I had to experience such negativity in order to understand it. It was a painful life lesson, one from which I still feel great sorrow, but in the end I know I have grown from it. It taught me patience, understanding, and compassion. I am a better person for it, even though I no longer have in my life someone I love dearly.

I feel for you and will send the energy of my thoughts your way. You seem like a very strong and remarkable person, and I am confident you will handle this with the same grace and beauty as you write.


Lori said...

Because, my dear, there is nothing worse than "what if," and "good enough" is NOT "good enough." Life offers no guarantees, other than you will gain nothing if you take no risks.
Best wishes, positive energy, and peaceful thoughts from Fermented Fur.

The Blogger Exposed said...

I just want to say thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read my posts and to comment, lending support and encouragement. Even getting validation only through words can go a long way!

This was the first time I had written in a different style from my usual more literal prose. I didn't think I was capable of pulling it off, but it suddenly came naturally and I really enjoyed it.

Lori said...

YOUR writing keeps getting better, deeper, and more profound. Mine keeps getting doggier! I'm a mess and my brain is tired. I must recharge and try harder.

MOuntainDreamer said...

I love your blogs, your such a warm and awesome person for being so open and true! I can't wait to read more from you!

Sy said...

Love it! I should spend more time here. Or I should say, I will be spending more time here! :)

Alex Blanchard said...

Still embracing the pink I see; beautiful.

I have linked to you from my latest post. It is a meme and I apologies for that, you are probably busy enough.