The sickeningly sweet smell of a rose scented candle fills the air and I am instantly transported through tangled webs of time and space. To a time I was desperate for his love while being destroyed by the other woman, who was also him. The comparisons I couldn’t live up to. The pain of being heavy with child and being told how disgusting I was. I rush for the outdoors longing for the brisk air to chase these demons of the past away. The insufficiency clings to my skin like a leech, sucking away at my self-esteem. The knowledge of my failings laid bare before the universe. I throw my head back and stare up at the stars inhaling the brisk air as if life itself was contained within. My bare feet begin to ache from the frost covered deck that I stand upon.
I’m mostly free from that time. Lord knows how much therapy, prayer, yoga, and all manner of cures has gone into getting over the pain. But the brain has a sneaky way of hiding pain in the forgotten dusty corners of one’s mind until some uninvited guest goes rustling around and stirring it up.
Rude. That’s what it is. Being thrust into memories and dreams without permission. I don’t want to remember my step dad. My ex. Fear. Pain. Loss.
Is there a purpose to this remembering of things l keep trying to bury? Perhaps, these glimpses of pain past can serve to remember that even on my darkest days, I survived. Maybe that’s not much of a success story. Survival. There were no miraculous interventions or answers from above. But I kept breathing. Kept loving my kids. Kept putting one weary foot in front of the other even when everything seemed to be burning down around me. I was imperfect. I was a mess. I still am, I guess. But I survived. And I live to hold people’s hand while they hurt and tell them that they can make it through. One day at a time.
There is a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi. Which means golden repair. It is the art of repairing broken pottery with silver or gold with the understanding that the finished piece is far more beautiful for having been broken and having a history. I rather like that. Maybe all the cracks where the pain leaked out of my brokeness can be repaired by something beautiful. Love. Kindness. Light. Peace. I am not quite there yet, I’m afraid. Transformation takes ever so much time and work. At the end of it all, may my finished soul be more beautiful for all the repaired damage…….