In the darkest part of my night, and her day, my dearest bloggie, N, gave me a sobering piece of advice. And, it was this:
“You don’t have to bare your soul to the entire planet.”
Now, because her depth of insight is consistently eons ahead of my most emboldened presumptions, I paused. She always gives me pause. There is a certain, goddess fearing pause that this woman generates; it’s as if she knows me, before I know myself. And, she, relative to my chronology, a veritable child, no less.
“You don’t have to.”
I suppose my first reaction was to that opening clause. “Have to”? Hadn’t I moved, yea grown, so far beyond any notion of obeying anything or anybody?
Surely a childhood of strictly enforced social parameters had taught me that obedience was better than sacrifice. And, sacrifice had been my mother’s middle name.
Yet, I knew, by early adulthood (though I would not act on the realization for another decade) that I could not obey anymore. I’d done it, to an excruciating degree, though mum would be the last to know. First, I would dissect my imposed authorities with the official tonsorial artist’s finest comb. Then, and only then, would I take with any degree of sobriety the directives of said alleged enforcers. Playwrite Neil Simon’s Reader’s Digest quote, decoupaged to a small plaque which I’d subsequently placed on the toilet table, to be read like a mantra every day, was my leading instructor:
” There will be those who say: ‘It’s not done that way.’ Maybe it’s not, but maybe you will….”
Yes; I would obey only the inner voice with which I had been blessed, and that, to a fault.
So, my dearest and most revered bloggie N, perhaps I cannot do anything else. Perhaps my soul is already escaped its body. Perhaps my head already floats in the firmament, like Woody Allen’s mother in ‘New York Stories’, monitoring the lives of everybody around me and barking fair warning. Keyword: fair. Perhaps all my social and emotional errors are worthy fodder for the fledglings.
The Apostle Paul exhorted the early Christians to “bear one another’s burdens.” Perhaps I simply cannot bear my own soul. Maybe, subconsciously, I plead for others to help me carry it?
And, what of it? Could my missteps, my errant wanderings, be of worth to those who have yet to embark? Who is judging my choices, anymore? Certainly, I have judged them myself – and, found them seriously wanting.
Best to warn, like the town crier. Let me do the crying. I can handle it. Tough love is not easy, and rarely wins friends, but somebody has to do it. Might as well be me. Long after I am forgotten, perhaps my life experiences will be filed and referenced for some small value to another.
Further, in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul also includes in his legendary “love chapter”: “Love…..bears all….”
And so, my love comes with me. I hope to spread such care. If this is not how my words translate, then, please: do tell. Perception is, after all, our only reality – and, it may be all we ever get before we cross the bar.
Much ❤ , to all, most specially to my dearest N.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo