Saturday, June 9, 2007

truth over intoxication

A wise woman once said about a great poet (paraphrased):

He chose truth over intoxication. He didn't want his poetry to cast a spell over anyone. He didn't want to possess the wizardry of words. Of course, only someone who is capable of magic in the first place is in the position to give it up.

A long time ago I believed that if I worked hard enough I could unlock this kind of magic within myself. I wanted it so bad, I thought I could taste it. I didn't yet realize that this is a gift that is given, not one that is won even through considerable efforts. I had this idea that everyone in the world was capable of the power to mesmerize, and that in order to do so, they had cracked some kind of code that I couldn't begin to decipher. As I aged, it was as if I was a cup being nudged closer and closer to the edge of a table, a cup who then tipped over and fell, crashing into shards. It was then that I had a sneaking suspicion that I would never be understood. For how could I expect anyone else to make a guess when I couldn't understand nor respect what I re-assembled into, and didn't quite grasp the pieces of myself I had left behind.

But still I made a choice. I made a choice to not choose, to remain fragmented in part. I was

afraid that the whole person I would potentially become would disappoint me much more than my shell of an existence. Little did I know that being broken would impact the lives of the people closest to me, having this childish notion that consequences only impact one person, the person responsible for setting them into motion. But the backlash caused by rejecting my life, and stilting my growth into adulthood would chafe everyone I've worked to become close to. Yet that chafing was brush fire compared to the blazing friction that exploded everytime I was jolted back into the reality of who I had allowed myself to become. (The real outbursts came when I saw that I wasn't being prodded toward the edge of that table, much the opposite: I willfully inched my way there.) I am still simmering, smoldering with anger for giving up on myself. I didn't even put up a fight.

I also understand now that I can be mad at myself, that this is a reasonable and honest way to feel, but that this anger cannot be pitted inwardly. It's simply too hot to handle, and I risk burning myself out. But how to drown a fire that has been steadily growing for longer than I can remember? Perhaps the answer is not to drown it alltogether, that would be impossible, but to quench it before it gets out of control...It may not be necessary to rid myself of it entirely. A firey, zealous spirit is plenty useful when channeled towards the proper mark. Right now I'm still trying to find my mark.

I'm also trying to learn to choose again, the right way this time. I want to choose truth over intoxication, as that great poet once did. I want to choose the reality of the world, and the people in it over the illusion I create in my mind. That illusion can be so powerful when it's held up like a photograph beside the harshness of the actual world, and your actual self, that you want to jump into that picture. To lose yourself in it. But I now understand more why that poet resisted falling into his own work, it is simply far to easy to let go of the concreteness of the things surrounding you, and near impossible to come back to earth.

Well, perhaps I do have some kind of magic. This ability to cast a spell over things like an anti-fairy, creating fractured fairytales..Ones where things are less than perfect in the end, and even princesses can have "not-so-good hours". Then again that may be another one of my illusions, which have much more to do with mental frustration than actual enchantment. Heh, I should be grateful for what I get. Grateful that my cup, though barely able to hold itself together, is still being filled up in the first place.

4 comments:

Celine said...

you know, there's always boxing! I'm serious! kicking butt is better than kicking oneself. wish we lived closer so that we could go to the gym and hit the punching ball together.

danucal said...

Yah, I've been thinking along those lines too, like what I could do to channel my frustration. That's a very good idea! Even if I don't end up boxing, doing something physical could help.

I didn't know you boxed, Celine! So you can kick butt in and out of the kitchen?? Nice!

KleoPatra said...

It's NEVER too late. NEVER. You haven't given up on yourself, not by a long shot. You write so thoughtfully, with truth and wisdom, and you care deeply. There is something so beautiful, and so NOT given up, in your way...

danucal said...

Kleopatra, thank you for finding this blog, so that I could find yours!

I really take it as a compliment that you've come back to read again. Also that you get that I have not given up yet. I'm trying not to give up yet. When you said that, I saw that it was true, and that it isn't too late for me.

I'm enjoying your blog,too, and I'll be heading back for more. :~)