I once came across a quote, that has been echoing in my head, making sense at times and then again, when I spend too much time thinking about it, no sense at all. (Mind you – it’s one of my weaknesses: “I think too much”. It crossed my mind again yesterday when I read a post at Elf‘s. It goes something like this: “Whose fear is the greater? The child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?” and the easy answer to the question, for me, was that it depended at which angle the light is falling – for the length and size of shadows are determined by light and not darkness… not so?
With a New Year, like with Birthdays (especially probably passing some certain age, which differs in significance from one person to the next), we, the ‘too-young-to-die-too-old-to-start-over’ generation, become more and more frequently aware of a kind of ‘last chance’ signboard in our sky overhead. It is much the same than the “I’ll start my diet on Monday”-syndrome. We are ‘suddenly’ confronted (again) with weaknesses, failures, missed opportunities and with what-if’s and how-next’s and I-wish-i-had’s…
This, my current experience of events is just ‘coincidentally’ happening in/over the ‘New Year’ – it could’ve probably just as well happened at any other time of the year and still had the same response from me, but I think that I might be just that little more sensitive because of this specific feeling of “what now”, “where-to from here”, “what does it hold in for me?”, “where will it take me?”…
I am what you might call a ‘habitual animal’. I find peace and security in the routine things in life. Now, that’s not to say that I like routine – I find it utterly boring and really dislike anything remotely suburban and average/common/ordinary, but I understand full-well that I NEED peace and security and stability to be able to survive the ratrace of modern life – and somehow have built up a love-hate relationship with ’emotional suburbia’ as time goes by. I have had so many ups and downs in life; so many rollercoaster rides, so much distress and grief and anguish, that I am almost at a point where I welcome the everyday run of the mill normalities of life.
I’ve come to a place, for the first time in 40+ years, where I feel really safe. My heart is safe. My being is safe. I’m in a safe place in a relationship, which I always thought probably really only existed in fairy tales and other people’s diaries. I am being taken care of, being loved, being attended to and treated like the princess I always thought I was… And even though regular life still happens and I don’t sit idly on a bejeweled throne; I face the traffic each morning, work 8-9 hours per day, exercise, plan meals, meet my responsibility towards my children, feed the pets, pick up dog-poo etc… I have found peace and shelter for my soul beyond my wildest dreams.
Now, just before you might think: what’s she on about then?? 🙄 , let me get to the point:
Enter: the knight in shining armour. The prince on the white horse. The captain of my ship. The gentlest of giants ever roaming this earth… the one constant in my past few years. The one reliable force in my life. Unfailing, trustworthy, dependable, (oh Lord, thank you for Thesaurus!! 😉 , faithful, loyal, devoted. The same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Or so I thought. *SCREECH*!! *Halt*!! *Stoppie-bus*!! Maybe I must go back in time – not far back – 6 weeks to be precise. Diet – Day 1. Total darkness decends on the both of us. He knows what he wants and how he wants to do it. I don’t know anything, but I’ll be damned if I let anybody know that I don’t. And by hook or by crook I’ll support and assist him in any way I can to make it as easy and painfree as I possibly can. (And I’m THE greatest supporter for anyone on a diet – ask him – No, you can’t have, NO, you won’t be getting, there you go: your beans and grilled steak, enjoy your meal, my Love. Get your hands out of the cookie-jar ASAP!!! 👿 Time to eat , my Love… By week 4 we had just about everything sorted out to the finest detail. We can go on a whole daytrip down country lane, to a mall, to the theatre (God bless Cadac’s little cooler bag) without blinking an eye. I can sit and sip on a cappuccino and a blueberry muffin, while he has his goodies neatly packed for each meal. I can stop for a shake, have a toasted sandwich, eat, drink and be merry – and he’s fine with that! Like I say: all sorted! No Probs!!
Now you might wonder even louder about what I see as problem. As the little proverbial ‘fox in the vineyard’.
It is this:
Much as I dislike ordinary, I loathe disruption, confusion and uncertainty that many a times comes with the exotic and glamorous. I don’t do the ‘dive into the deep end’ way; I don’t do ‘swim or sink’ – I’d probably sink just because you think I might – I don’t play ‘truth or dare’ and I am afraid – very very afraid of uncharted waters.
I can, for the life of me, not understand a spirit like Columbus’s – dreaming of getting onto a small sailing ship – out onto the darkest ocean, with nothing but undrinkable water full of fish bigger than animals roaming the earth under me for months and months on end – just to find a patch of land, for which in return I receive nothing but a royal nod and a pat on the shoulder from some Queen who never plans on going there anyway…
So, now Columbus is taking himself (and me, because we are ‘we’ afterall) on a whole new adventure – and though Columbus might think he does or really know where he’s heading, I’m still standing at the water’s edge probing the temperature, the depth, the width, the extension of it all with my toes. I see darkness when I look down. I see creepy monsters and sea urchins and alluring devious mermaids and a whole lot of water and no horizon at all – and I’m scared…
I know I can’t stand by the water’s edge forever – I’ve got to get on that boat – and I do… I know you’ll be doing the steering and the rowing if need be. You’ll be climbing up the mast to the look-out post to check for land. You’ll be fighting off the pirates’ ships bravely that threaten to attack and raid our precious cargo. And you’ll be turning a blind eye to the monsters and urchins and mermaids. You’ll be keeping your eyes on the stars at night and the sun by day. And you’ll be charting the waters as we go along – so you can show me, like you have done in the past with so many new and daunting journeys we’ve been on, that in hind-sight – there was no reason for fear afterall.
So, although I’m afraid, I trust, that this journey too, will take us to a better place in our lives and our relationship and that the light you shine and the courage you have is enough for the both of us.