So yesterday, we took the oldest boy to his internship, over in New Haven. It was interesting, as we drove, because I was thinking about the first trip to take him to college, four years ago.
I wrote about that, then, but have since shuffled the blog around and you can’t read it anymore; but, I got to thinking about that summer, the summer that led to hell fall; suicide averted, depression and black things, that cold, cold summer of darkness and despair.
As we drove, as I was thinking of that time, a song came on, and there was a line that struck me, hard; the song is “I Run for Life” http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/s/I+Run+for+Life/2nxtXV by Melissa Etheridge.
The line, was this:
“How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I’m still learning the lesson
To waken when I hear the call “
She is talking about cancer, and the darkness, and preserving her soul. Well, that’s good, but I was thinking of a different darkness, and wondering what kind of toll it takes. How have I changed, what have I learned- what lessons, if any? Have I wakened? Also, could there please be something like a partial ‘soulectomy’, I’d gladly give up whatever it is that allows the dark thing to root and grow…
I dunno what all I still have to learn, and I don’t know that I’m done learning them- even if, as now, depression is far off and more a memory of darkness, than an immediate fear (thank God for that)… but it seems that often, when I reflect, I find new little bits and pieces that fit together, that seem to be something that I’m supposed to take away and learn. Learn, from the depths of that time, and in the struggles since; learn, from the cold numbness of depression, to the hot anger of jealousy and betrayal; learn, from the new way of seeing things, too.
I’ve learned, that I can’t neglect my own self, by trying to do to much, or be too much, to others. I have to remember that I wont do anyone any good, if I’m not around to do things.
I’ve learned that (as strange as it seems to me, still!), I’ve learned that there are people that actually like me, want me to stick around, enjoy my company- who knew!
I’ve learned that I’m a pretty good friend to have, sometimes, and I’m actually kind of proud of that; I don’t (or didn’t) have many friends, for a long long time- I was content to work and be invisible, and do solitary activities, because it’s easier and doesn’t hurt.
I’ve learned that it’s okay to love a whole lot, that it’s not something that has to be clutched, doled out in dribs and drabs, in case I run out; no, the more I love, the more I’m loved in return. I’ve learned this about love, too, that there’s all kinds of loves and all kinds of people that I can love, and it doesn’t take away from the rest.
I’ve learned that I have somethings to do still, even if it’s not always exactly clear what they are. I’m here for somethings, and I’m learning to listen, to watch, to pay attention and try to see what those things might be, without being afraid of them.
I’ve learned that it’s okay to enjoy sex and sexuality, that there’s nothing wrong with that, that explorations and games and laughing silliness are okay, and that guilt about enjoying it is silly.
I’ve learned, and this one is big for me, and I love it- I’ve learned to sing again. No, not well, not like music lessons and such- but I’ve learned to let it belt out and enjoy the music again, and so what if it’s out of tune, or off-key, or makes no sense?
I figure there’s lots more to learn, lots more growing to do, lots more explorations still to come; but, I also think I’ve come a long way, in four years, and today at any rate, I’m wondering what the next four years will be like.