Choosing…or Not

we’re in a gauntlet of clarifying, breakthroughs and gear shifts ~ Kathy Biehl, Astrologer

The year 2017 had passed with adventure, challenge and, much risk-taking,   Mamie held some conglomeration of hope, fear, and anticipation in her head about 2018.  She knew this year would be different, just because it must, just because nothing stays the same.  The same feelings would come around; exhaustion, anxiety, hope, anticipation, joy, depression and if she wasn’t careful the same stories would come around as well.  She really wanted this year to be full of new stories and she could feel her way into knowing this would be the case.

Mamie sat at her desk waiting for the words to come tumbling out onto her Blog. Books, papers, her trusty laptop, a few crumb filled paper napkins from lunch and a water bottle begging to be filled, all spread out on her desk.  She was trying to hear her voice and it kept getting interrupted by other people’s opinions arriving in her head as if she had left a door wide open with a sign that said, ” > Right this way.” She wanted to say they were uninvited, but in truth, they were vaguely and cautiously invited, for she was the one who left the door open.

She had been stopped in her tracks before when hearing another’s opinion.  She would be drawing, embroidering or writing and show her work to someone who’s opinion meant too much to her. Upon hearing what they had to say, she would just stop working on whatever it was.  Stop, dead, and not return to the work for years.  So she both wanted to hear what they had to say and her thin skin was sometimes just too raw to take what she liked and leave the rest.  She would absorb their opinion, feel a wound or cut and that was the end of that.  Her mother had always told her she was too thin-skinned, and she had no idea what to do about that. It was as if her mother had spoken to her in a foreign language.

In looking for a greater understanding about making choices, her eyes darted around her room, hoping to find a place to rest her focus and they landed on her dog laying on her bed. Henry always gave her a sense of security, a place to mentally land and remind her that she knew where she belonged…to him.

Henry 2012 Ronada Piedmont, CA

Looking for the words that would speak her truth about making choices, she stared at the sun’s reflection on the Buddhist red walls that surrounded her. It was as if someone had thrown a splash of Caravaggio’s sunlit paint on the spot. Then, within a barely noticeable second, she was back typing a vignette, trying to capture an idea about where she had been this past year and where she was now.  She looked up to find that the art work and play of sunlight on the wall was gone.

With the distraction of her hungry dog and her own desire to eat, she traipsed into the kitchen, poured Henry his food then turned, open the frig door and just stood and stared into it.  She hoped that maybe, this time, her stare would conjure the refrigerator to talk and offer some amazing recipe with the food she had. She looked over what she did have, figuring out if she could put a few things together for a warm soup on this cold winter day.  She sauteed and stewed the cabbage, tomatoes, and onions she found it to be a bit skimpy but eatable. Took her soup back to her desk while Henry went back to his residence on the bed.

As she ate, she listened to her thoughts and wondered what had taken her so long to hear them. She had made some significant decisions in her life; like marriages, divorces, wrong partners, and lived with them just to avoid knowing what she knew, or what she didn’t know. Really, just to avoid the fear of being on her own.

She considered how she would claim herself and trust her choices, now that “not taking risks” had fallen off the linen covered table of options.  Risks were what was being called for and that made choosing all the more dangerous.

Just as she felt a pressure to know where her writing was going, she felt the same pressure to already know who she was. She had adult children for god’s sake and they needed her to know who she was. But the exploration was just beginning. The discovering of who Mamie was, was just now unfolding.






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