Wednesday, January 09, 2008

the changing moments




I was thinking today about the moments in my life that have impacted me the most, changed my direction one way or another. I imagine myself, halfway through my life, as a roaring stream rushing over rapids. The rocks that form the rapids are the trials and tribulations of my life. Their sharp edges and dangerous currents are smoothed and softened by the strength of me. At this time in my life, I allow gravity to lead me to my resting place, and I follow along where it takes me. But still, I am strong and powerful, and I leave my mark.

I am not detoured by the undercurrents, just jostled around a bit. My path is fairly clear, it lays before me invitingly, calm and serene, some lake...somewhere out there...waiting for me to join it's calmness and rest gently amongst the trees and rocks of its banks.

It is amazing to me in some ways that I can even see that place, off in the future. It has not always looked so clear to me. Certainly, the beginings of my journey were much more turbulent and rocky.

Although I started out just a trickle of a stream, a joining of two of life's forgotten people, the culmination of a love that would not last, I have managed to make my way here, to this place of relative stability. In retrospect, they each threw their share of stones and boulders into my path, even before I was born. Poverty, hatred, alcoholism, drug abuse, imprisonment. I spent much of my early life looking at all of the neighboring brooks as they babbled happily along, nurtured and fed so fully, wondering what I had done wrong to be needing to strike out on my own carving my own way, alone in the wilderness. At every turn, another pebble broke the surface, divorce, loss, anger, overwhelming grief. And still I gained in strength, at every fork I gathered and forged on. I managed to gain a hold in the earth and grip it for all I was worth, and I left my mark in many places. I even managed to foster three new little brooks of my own, each branching off to their destinations hopefully, joyously, well-fed and nurtured. I came from nothing, I may never be anything that mattered. But I will have fought hard to get where I am, fought hard to overcome a rotten start. My children will never look back and say I put myself first, or loved them anything less than with all of me.

I am tired now. I wish for the stones and twigs and clay beneath me to soften their grip and allow me a more peaceful path to the finish line. I am tired of fighting the current. I have hurtled the hills and I long for the valleys. I take stock of those around me who are ready to slow down, too. I am happy to see that some have made the trip in one piece, and some new faces have even joined me on my travels. The lake is ahead, the rapids are slowing, the fight is going out of me. Peace, placidity, the reverance of calm waters, are ahead. I am ready to be enveloped by them, swallowed whole, taken in. Ready.

4 comments:

Megan's got 47 said...

wow Chelle that was powerful!
Is this part of a collection...are you publishing anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

Michelle If your mother hadn't been strong enough to overcome her fear, and gain enough strenth to take you out of that mess, where would you be today?

Michelle said...

no doubt about it, anon. I have written about my mother's courage many times. If she had not had the strength, we would have died in the cold as babies. I remember her saying she wasnt hungry, in retrospect there wasnt enough food for all of us. She wasn't always an easy mother to have, as I am sure I wasnt an easy daughter. But I took many of her strengths for my own, and I am proud of the fight in her. pretty amazing that she was only 16 years old when I was born, huh?
She is married to an amazing man now, one who I wish I could blink and make my Dad. (Sorry, dad, the truth is almost as brutal as you were.) If she had had him all along, she would never have been pushed to the edge as she was so many times. He is good for her, and allows her to be the calm and happy person she should have been. So to answer your question, if I hadnt seen her tough it out, Ide have WIMPED out, I learned tough from her. ;)

Michelle said...

It is funny to me that anyone would think this was about my MOM, when it was written after an argument with my DAD lol. He was the drug abusing, neglectful, alcoholic, abusive parent. He hasnt changed much.