Friday, July 23, 2010

Letting go....

I'm upside down on a high bar in the playground, swinging back and forth, back and forth, arms pumping, the skin on the under side of my knees squishing against the metal. My back arches, I bend my arms at the elbows and thrust my little body backward one last time until my face through stringy hair is looking facedown at footprints in the sand. My knees are still hooked until suddenly, in a slow motion moment high above the bar.... zing.... my taut muscles let go! Feet and legs are free! The whoosh of wind rushes into my ears, I see sky and trees, my gangly limbs sail through the pillowy air toward the earth—flying, not falling. I have to reeeach for the ground with my feet. Thud! I crumple and the delirious world spins around me.
--
It's nearly 7:00 a.m. The every two minute twinges in my back have subsided happily, but the reprieve is brief. Transition. Muscles clench my round belly, squeezing tears from my eyes and ergwauauaargghhhhhh from my throat. Laura, with a midwife's calm, reminds me to breathe, to imagine opening up, to let go. It's. so. hard. to let go... my body bearing down with a fierce force I can't master. But I gasp for air and call it breathing. I cry out. I can't stop breakers that crash over me and over me and drown me. To give up... to yield... to float and flail on a sea of muscular power. To let go and be taken over. A crescendo of urgings and voices and visions collide. And then, it's over. Forever. Whether or not I wanted to let go.
--
I see her standing in a too small room, flanked by a preppie co-ed, boxes oozing contents into the cramped space. All that needed to be said had been, yet other words, eighteen years worth of words, wanted their last chance to take the floor... and wouldn't come forth. In a split second, careless red hair danced on her shoulders, liquid blue eyes gleamed. Brave smiles, so many hugs, forced cheerfulness accompanied by "Good bye" and "Have fun" and "I'll miss you." A long walk. A quiet car. The tether between us slackened with each mile. We let go of her childhood together while apart, but we didn't let go of each other.
--
He promised me I could trust him with my heart. He would take good care of it. I took him at his word. He lied. That's why I wanted to punish him, to expose him. My better angels and self-help books insisted I let go. Some added, "Let God." But locked inside was a righteous indignation. I wasn't hanging upside down, being pulled along by my body, or choosing a goodbye. I hated being required to let go. I hated being counted on to let go. I hated knowing that he knew that I was too good a person to not let go.
--
That's how I hold on, clenching my knees around that bar, gripping the sides of the table, forcing a goodbye. I choose my resentments. I resent being managed, the robbery of my dignity. How do you let go when you suffer someone else's consequences?

2 comments:

Colleen said...

I read this through twice, each time experiencing a range of emotion as you moved through the scenarios. Not sure what to make of it, but the rawness of it gripped me.

julieunplugged said...

Colleen, thank you for reading it! Sometimes I have that nagging need to express an experience and this time decided to look at it experientially rather than philosophically. Not sure if it worked (as far as writing goes) but it was so cathartic for me that it did work in that sense. :)

I appreciate your feedback. Hope you are well!