Time Heals

It is said that time heals all wounds.  A trite statement, to say the least, yet as time wears on, I find more and more truth hidden within its depths.  To say that time heals, is perhaps an oversimplification, let us say instead, time allows.  Time allows for things to move, for us to learn, grow, evaluate and evolve.

Today, I did a thing which I expected to rip me open, expected to tear the flesh from my breast and expose my beating, battered, heart.  I re-read an email I had received from a woman I used to love.  Or to be more precise, a woman onto whom I had projected ideals, and having done so, fell in love with who I perceived her to be.

We had a falling out.  To be more specific, I professed my bleeding, broken, baby queer love and was slapped down, like an upstart kid.  Rightfully so.  But fuck, did it hurt.  Like salt in a wound I throbbed.  My entire being throbbed with the pain of rejection, of confusion, of denial.

I raged against the idea that I could have possibly misunderstood the aspects of our relationship.  I raged against the thought that my perceptions, the lens through which I viewed my life and the people I let into it, could possibly have been clouded by the circumstances of my past, rather than the perceived reality of the present.

Thus, a period of discovery was entered.

I wrote and wrote, poem after poem, rant after rant, pages and pages and pages and pages of text. Of hurt, of pain, of longing, of lust.  I recounted, I recanted, I remembered, I misremembered, I raged. Months and months and months passed.  Years passed.

I do this thing, which my friend thinks is crazy; she thinks it is just begging to sink me into the deep, dark, depressions which are so often my truest lovers, my dearest friends:  I re-read my journals. Often. My pages and pages and pages of text.  I rip myself open again and again to see.  To see what can be seen.

And that is what I did.  I read and re-read and skipped some sections and went back and read those sections and became so infuriated with myself.  So sad about myself, because I had been – was still so lost and deluded and sad.

I had projected so much onto this person, this woman.  She was never who I thought she was.  Nor was I ever who she thought I was.  We were merely sets of ideas and experiences and thoughts and emotions coming together and drifting apart and coming together and drifting apart until the drifting was all that was left.

She told me this thing, which has stuck with me, to this day…so many days later, she said “I am not who you think I am.”  I didn’t understand what she meant.  It took me years of writing and reading and knowing myself to understand, a bit, of what she was saying.  I didn’t see her. I couldn’t see her.  I was looking through glasses which were so thick and hazy that I couldn’t even see myself.

Until I ripped myself open.  Until I let the wound bleed.  Let it fester and sore and puss and run and dry and crack and heal.  I looked into myself.  I sat in silence and knew myself.

Parts of me were hard to know.

Parts of me screamed in pain and anger and pain and anger and rage and pain and anger and rage and hurt and betrayal. But I began to see myself.  I read and re-read my writing and I ripped myself open and I discovered something.  Something beautiful and surprising.  I saw the distance.  Saw where I began, and how hazy and clouded and dripping with pain and trauma my perception was.  I saw how I had been conditioned, opened up, made ready to be broken.  And I was broken.

But I learned about myself, and learned how to begin to love myself and learned how to love others well and true.  Or begin to.

I retraced my steps.  Listened to music I loved when I was younger, watched television shows, read books, read essays.  Delved deep down into the psyche of my past self and wandered through the corridors of my mind.  Walked and walked and walked until I arrived at that moment.  When my beating, bruised heart was broken and went further.  I walked until I met myself.

And I did the thing.  I did what I thought would break me, what I had been so averted to for so long, I re-read the e-mail she sent me.  The e-mail that deluded me.  That I clung to with some distant, tenuous thread in the farthest reaches of my subconscious.

I was not averted.

My vision was clear.  The haze which had clouded my view for so long had lifted and I thought to be angry.  Thought to rage at myself for clinging so long to someone and something that was never meant to be mine.  Then I realized that had I not, I would not have the perspective that I have today.  Would not have been ripped open and so would not have written and written and read and re-read and arrived here.  I would be elsewhere.  Still battered, and bleeding and broken.

Shattered.

Because I did, I am mending, healing.  Learning and evolving and no, time may not, perhaps can not heal all wounds, but it certainly allows. That is a lesson worth ripping myself open for again and again and again. It is a lesson I will never tire of learning.

Burning Bridges

I cast my torch upon the straw.  Tiny sparks flew from the fiery light as atoms merged and expanded, shooting flames upon the rotting post.  I stepped back, marveling at how quickly chaos reigned. Flames danced across the boards, weakening their resolve, until they ultimately crumbled to ash, and fell to the ground.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I hesitated, only for an instant; then remembering what she had said, raised my head toward the highest flame and gave up my silent prayer.  This bridge would serve as a symbol, as would it’s ashes.

Bending down, I retrieved a small, glass vial from my cloak pocket, and scooped up the ashes from the post, before replacing the stopper into the vial.  Returning it to my pocket, I closed me eyes and drew a steadying breath.  Hands toward the sky,  I recited the incantation,  just as the woman had instructed.

I waited, nothing happened. I felt no different than I had the moment before.  Had I missed something? Perhaps not, the woman hadn’t said that I should feel anything, I just assumed that I would.  No matter. Resolving that I had no choice but to move on, I slipped my feet from my boots and in doing so, nearly lost my footing.

The earth shifted and my vision altered.  I felt my body spiral, carrying me full circle before throwing me upon the earth. It writhed and twisted.  Soft moans escaped my lips, partnered with words I had never before heard, let alone uttered.  I was not my own, yet I was not afraid.  It felt almost – natural. Almost.

It was with this realization that my body’s uncontrollable writhing ceased.  I lay there, suddenly naked, upon the forest floor.  Burning bridge throwing it’s heated glow upon my motionless form as Shadowy figures played upon my flesh.

Though the movement had stopped, the incantations remained.  Freckled with the occasional moan, the language came bolder, far bolder than during the madness moments before.  I felt an energy growing inside of me.  Pulsing through my veins.  Building and swimming around my body, until I was full.

Filled to the brim and certain I would burst.  Certain my skin would break open and I would explode. Sensation of madness returning to my conscious mind, the words turned to screams ripping woefully from my throat.  All sanity threatened to abandon me…threatened to leave me forever until … it didn’t.

The screaming stopped.  An ear piercing Snap! cracked through the trees, reverberating off of the forest floor, and back to where I lay.

I opened my eyes and found myself no longer surrounded by trees, but blossoms.  Thousands of red blossoms blanketed the earth, yet, the bridge was still there.  Still burning.

Looking through the flames, I could almost make out a figure on the other side; cast upon the ground, surrounded by trees.  The forest.  Was that me ?  How could I be there, when I was so plainly here ?  How did I cross the bridge, when I had not moved from where I lay naked, upon the earth ?

My fingers encircled the shaft of the torch as proof, for it remained just where I had cast it down.  And the bridge still burned. Never mind.  There was no time for that.  I had far greater things weighing upon my mind, making the how and why of my present circumstances trivial at best.

Rising to my feet, I struggled to orient myself.  Which way should I go? I appeared to be in the middle of an infinitely large clearing, unable to see anything but flowers and sky, in any direction I gazed. What I wouldn’t have done for a compass, though I was not entirely certain how that would assist my endeavor, especially considering the fact that I had no true inkling as to what it was that I was looking for. Nor where I was to go in search of it.  It would have made me feel a bit better though.

Lowering my body to the earth once more, I knelt, digging my fingers into the soil and tilted my head to better observe the blossoms.  They all appeared to have their faces lifted slightly towards the sky and listing a bit to the left.   If that was the way that the flowers were looking, that was the way I would go. The soil beneath my hands seemed to pulse in assent.  Letting it fall from my fingers, I rose to the ground and began my journey. One foot in front of the other, was to me, the best course of action. That was, unless I wanted to try to cross back over the bridge…but that seemed like a problem for another day, and worlds away.

No, whatever was in store for me, lay to the left, and it seemed, only the flowers knew how to get me there.