One Born Every Minute: or so they say

Today I miss Dylan harder than normal. And there is guilt that the pain isn’t this intense every day. So i examine that guilt and it occurs to me that somewhere in our psyches we have learnt to equate suffering with love. The more we suffer the deeper we love. Perhaps somewhere within there is the insistence that I will never recover from the grief of this one thing: because that recovery would negate the proof of my love for him.

And what is this ‘recovery’ that I speak of anyway? How do any of us ‘recover’ after suffering a loss, a trauma, a heartbreak? Is it ever possible to recover or do we just learn to function? Is learning to function detrimental to the soul because it denies the real state it’s in. Is this how we learn to mask who we really are? Accumulating those brownie points so we can hold our head up in society, proudly, look at me, i’m a shining example of success.

All this editing and concealing leads to confusion and disharmony. And aren’t I the very same woman who abruptly told an old friend that ‘even a one legged man can win a race’. It just goes to show the level of disdain I have for my own grief (and most likely hers). My defiance that the slap of bad fortune I was dealt across my face would bring me to tears. People convinced me, somewhere along the way, that my feelings were less important than the success of day to day chores, than the drama of other people’s lives. The reason I fell for it is this simple: I watched the women who came before me do the same thing and accredited it as a testament to their strength of character. That’s what our hero’s teach us. Suck it up and keep on keeping on. Progress. Be an effective cog. I discover that my anger wasn’t that she couldn’t run the race, more that she didn’t notice me limping alongside her.

So what am I going to do, sit and cry? Wail on an on about the things I’ve suffered? I wish I could, it would be far easier to bare than this in-held deepening rage. But it doesn’t come and I wont fake it. So instead I write all my wrongs, and everyone else’s to boot. And hope that somewhere along that some fucking thing can be learnt at least. I’m not instigating a mass sulk, or to use our suffering as an excuse not to live. No. I’m asking that the fuller story be told. The wider view taken, look around you at the souls that share your universe. Really see, because i’m sure it’s not that hard to do if you really want to. Sadness doesn’t hide itself as well as we think. Bitchiness, meanness, anger, frustrations, bossiness, controlling ways: surely these are all signs of the limp. I remind myself of this before I take offence when someone does something I dislike. And although I don’t have to like them or try and heal them, it’s true that I don’t have to hate them or hinder them either. I would give myself a pat on the back sooner than a punch in the face if only I had the conviction.

One born every minute, and other such falsehoods.  Expressed in this way, as a number per day in 2013,

  • 1,914 babies were born every day.
  • 9 babies were stillborn every day.

It tells a truer story. In the un-editing there should be something to be gained.


Detachment: Like the cracking of an egg.

It’s easier to push people away than you’d hope.

The realisation of this is a hard one because it’s stalked by a terrible feeling of rejection. Feeling un-loved and misunderstood: and shouldn’t a real friend always assume the better of you?

I plough on, head held high, unsure if I’m right or if I’m wrong but ploughing regardless till I’ve cleared the entire field. And if it saddens me so then why do I do it? Hand shoots up erect to the sky, me sir, I know, pick me, I know. Because there’s a long overdue spring coming and I need a fucking clear out. All this clutter, the eggshells so much trodden on that they have become the carpet, it needs to go. So the new broom sweeps clean and if it’s so easily got rid of then it couldn’t have really been yours to begin with.

Sometimes it feels, in this life of mine, that the only thing I don’t lose is weight.  But maybe, I speculate, these things are needed before the real work can begin, for the untying of all those pesky knots. You can’t renovate a house without first removing all the furniture and perhaps in the same vein, you have to deconstruct in order to reconstruct.

But what is it I’m supposed to learn from all these dreams of keys and ducks and walls closing in? Is everything we learn in life simply a lesson in how to die? Tragedy-prone as we all feel we are, can we take lesson from these things and graduate with honours to the big bright beautiful ever-after? To the palace in the sky? To the pacifistic equivalent of Valhalla I dreamed of as a child. The truth has to be that through the acceptance and understanding of death, life will take on new and fuller hues, and perhaps sometimes vice versa.

Losing friends is like the shedding of tears, or the bleeding of menstrual blood. You feel while it happens: anger, frustration, sadness, hurt. But once it’s done what you have left is the slightly exposed scrubbed clean you, warts and all. And you will learn to live with the new found space, fill it with new things, perhaps things that were destined to come to you. But only once you’ve stopped playing that record over and over, stopped finding new ways to beat yourself up for the failings of others, you’ll take yourself in your own arms and be the friend you always needed. Because what I realised is this: the most abusive and unreasonable critic is the one that resides deep inside the mind. If we can conquer him, then the rest is just child’s play.