Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Today I Am a Grown Up

When I was young, I was very disciplined all on my own.  I would decide on something and then make it happen.  One year I wanted to be able to do the splits so I stretched for 15 minutes every night.  I think I was about 13?  One summer I wanted to be in good shape so I worked at our half mile laneway until I could run it, both ways.  Maybe I was 15?

When I was about 14 I decided I wanted to be  a better writer.  I made myself write every day.  Before I let myself go to sleep at night, I made myself write.  It was really kind of a journal of my life, but in short story and poetry form.  I wrote into the Western Producer and some of my work got published in there.  I still have the clippings.  It made me so proud.  But it also helped me make sense of my world. 

Yesterday I felt like a grown up, for the first time really.  I felt tired and worn in a way that sleep can't fix.  It was one of the longest and hardest days of my life.  It turns out that I still try to make sense of my world by writing.  But some stories are not mine to tell.  My emotions have no right to what I see.  The way I feel merely dips a toe into the pool of grief.  So I write. 

Quiet
 
The quiet seeps in,
For months the quiet
licked at the doors
surrounding the six
Until the quiet retreats
 leaving them five.
 
The hollowness surrounds them
mired in their souls
Heavy hearts and feet
trying to fill the space
the quiet left behind.
 
Memories of happiness
are all that is left to find
Joy eludes, it's return unknown...
The quiet retreated
and left them five. 
 
As we enter into 2014, hold your loved ones close.  We only have a tentative grip on what we think is our life as we know it.  Don't pay this lip service.  Instead of focusing on the external, like a new diet, maybe resolve to cook with your family each night.  Planning menu's, shopping trips, learning new skills, trying new recipes and preparing meals together accomplishes so much more.  And probably accomplishes the weight loss goal in the process. 
 
The things you have no time for are your choice.  Don't make the assumption that because you are there that your family knows you love them.  Tell them.  Make 2014 the year that your family learns and believes how much you care.  They are not one in the same.  Make them believe.  (This is especially difficult with teenagers.  I know I have two and they don't see any value in anything I say.  Getting them to believe is the hard part.)
 
I believe in humanity.  I believe in hope.  I believe in trust.  I believe in spirituality. 
I believe in love. 
 
Happy New Year Everyone! 
Danah