It was the first time, sitting on the adirondack chairs in my back yard, under the lilac, that I had a sense you could relate differently.
“We have journeyed a long way together. I want to see if there is a path forward we can still walk together”
Previously, at 16, someone made reference to a bad relationship as two people held together with a double barbed fish hook through both their hearts. The only way free was to cut your end of it out, heal yourself and leave the other person be. They walked around with something stuck out of their heart, or not, depending. You were free. Before that day under the lilac tree, I looked at things from a purely practical point of view – how do you make the hurt stop? It was that other person, with their talk of a journey that told me something else.
Half a lifetime later, I can see that they both have merit. There are times when you cut the fish hook, walk away and heal yourself. There are times when you look at the path you are both on, see that this is a bump, a dip, a boggy patch, and you keep walking. Maybe you pick up the pace to catch up to them, and maybe you slow down and wait. You recognize that relationships of all types are a journey and all journey’s have problems.
There are the times when your heart is inflamed and matted with blood, scars and clots. So swollen you aren’t sure if you can find the fish hook to cut it. Certainly you know it must be there, because you can feel the tug and pull weigh you down with un met expectations and hopes and wishes. You are smart enough to know that you are on a journey – so you stop and look around. The other person is out of sight – but you can feel them.
Upon cursory examination, all you can feel is hurt and let down and sadness. If you stop and wait, you remember other things. Care. Concern. Laughter. Memories of a journey. So maybe it’s worth it – not always, but sometimes. You wait. Look around. Listen carefully. See if you can hear the other person. Wait. Examine the blood and the hurts and see what things you can learn about myself.
I have no answers. I honestly don’t know what I will do. I war against my innate desire to love, to chose care and concern and by how damned much I am bleeding. Before you can save anything, there has to be something to save. I’m not sure if there is.
This fall was my season of waiting. I had a big decision to make. It was hard and scary and complicated and a great deal depended on the outcome. I went back and forth, spinning around and changing my mind so quickly that I made myself dizzy. Until I realized another thing I have learned.
Make haste slowly.
When you do not know what to do, do nothing for a while.