I adore winter. I adore snowstorms. As long as the power stays on. Soon the snow blowers, including mine, will break the 13 degree silence, but for now we live under this pristine white blanket.
Sixteen tabs are open on my computer. Two of my ninety-two Kindle books are open. One paperback - "The Map of Heaven" by Eben Alexander, M.D. is almost finished.
Countless CDs - maybe two hundred - lie on the chair, and on the couch next to me, leaving me just enough room to sit and stretch my feet out on the coffee table. My cat is upset. He can't curl up beside me, so he perches on the couch's arm, then leaves, stopping briefly to glare at me. It's temporary! How can I make him understand? The CD cabinet was too heavy to move out of the hallway into my freshly painted library without emptying it. Over the holidays I added two dozen CDs to my collection. CD's on the couch, the chair, in piles. ONE boxful is on its way to Goodwill.
The shelves are still bare, two weeks after they were painted. How long should you let paint cure before putting stuff on shelves?
It is a w e s o m e l y peaceful behind these eyes. I have been meaning to tell you this for days. Not knowing HOW to tell you, though. How does one tell about an absence?
The PTSD pinball machine I was trapped inside for 58 years is G O N E. Yes, the balls, springs, levers and flippers. Felt like me, with me all the time. Some call it our Inner Critic. Just last month I discovered the co-host in my head and named it the Mad Hatter. That Mad Hatter was playing my pinball machine for all it was worth. Making me crazy! This was when I realized.... someone inside me must be independently observing the Mad Hatter. the 'Real' me. Hello? sweet Flo!
You've probably experienced me differently here. Not completely addled. I wrote right through my Mad Hatter's antics. Now the Mad Hatter is gone. Took the pinball machine with him. Where? I don't know. On another planet? Do I care?!? I can't even relate to it except in some dry historical way.
It really took 'going back there' and redoing the ending for me. Not everybody needs that, do they?
Goodness. Why does bad stuff happen in the first place? Maya Angelou didn't speak for six years after she was raped as a child. The attack I endured had not one finger touching me, yet its surgical precision stripped me and delivered its load of shame all the same. What happened to me was a bit like what happened to the developmentally disabled young man in Chicago recently, lured by a [false] friend into an apartment, where he was humiliated and pummeled. The emotional pummeling, will that heal? Will he ever trust again?
My pinball machine and Mad hatter were born one spring day in 1958 or 1959. One can say that day put the icing on the cake, because the cake had already been baked. Evidently that's the day my core belief shifted to 'I am developmentally disabled' and never shifted back. Until 9 days ago. Argh! I spent my whole life trying to disguise a false fact!
Unlike Maya Angelou, I spoke afterwards, but no longer as the 'real' me - after all 'I' was developmentally disabled. Thereafter, I spoke as a 'pretend' person, playing the part of a pert, unflappable doll. I rarely uttered a peep. Sometimes in life, in those rare moments when the stars lined up, I was Missy Pert. Like on my wedding day, when my family was nice as can be. But afterwards, even basking in the glow of a husband who pretty much adored me, the levers and flippers never ceased reminding me I was really a fool underneath.
But I'm not.
Here's what's I discover in my Celebrant's heart:
We can't escape the realities of life when we open our heart. We will be prejudged, critiqued, misunderstood, laughed at. By some people. Blind people. Tell them how you feel, but be prepared to leave these folks if they aren't taking you seriously. You can love them from afar. We will also be invited, appreciated, enjoyed and belong with some folks.
Conditions of heaven are rather spotty on earth. When necessary, move your chair.
Forthwith, I will be mapping out heaven and earth. Any tips?
Uh oh. Here comes my cat again.