January Babe Musings (Nailing Home A Few Truths)

The head teacher at work took notice and commented, “ You seem to have lost a little weight.” In the past, I would have responded, “That’s great! Thank you.” or, “Oh, I’m so happy to hear that.” But this time my curt reply could only be, “I see.” What was I supposed to say? And what was there to celebrate about? That I have lost weight because of grief?

Angelica Huston once said, “There will be times in your life when you feel so all alone. Utterly alone.” More than ever, I know what she was talking about. It’s that feeling when nobody seems to understand what’s going on inside you. Afflictions of the soul aren’t meant to be shared, are they?

Certain heartaches are bound never to heal. We simply endure the hurt forever. I completely get that now. The loss that stabbed your heart – which did leave an intense hole within you is the hole that you start carrying everywhere . The one which makes you start thinking how strange it is to walk along familiar places that suddenly become so unfamiliar. A hole only a measure of hushed loneliness could fill.

The hour when the tenacious dream of life runs the risk of being smashed to pieces. We mistake that peace for death, and we believe we long for our end, when what we long for is sleep and indifference.” – Jorge Luis Borges

Gradually though, a ray of light has begun permeating through the cracks of my broken spirit. That’s some kind of very slender progress. Perhaps.

For almost two months I had no desire to type even a single word on my keyboard. Yet I tried to somehow. This time I would like to thank certain people who have provided me some solace during these trying periods. You know who you are. No need to mention names. It’s amazing that even the bloggers I’ve crossed paths for the first time were able to impart good wisdom and deep sensibility to what I’ve been going through. Please know how grateful I am for your comforting words. They’ve been of considerable help – especially in times when I question my need to inform my writing of my pain and stinging convictions.

These days I manage to get on with the business of living; tending to the immediacy of my daily tasks with a bit more normality. I cry less, too. How do I do it? By merely putting my one foot in front of the other. It reminds me of an Oprah episode with Maria Shriver Kennedy – who had been inconsolable after losing her cousin John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash – affirming: “You have no choice but to go on.”

If other people are able to do that, so can I. As if I had another option. And yes, I try to push away the memories and mournful thoughts as far away from me as possible. Can’t afford much to lose my moorings for fear that the turmoil predominating within me might not be good for my health. So tough it out I must.

I should be grateful that my job has given me reason to rouse myself in the morning and get out of the house before 8 a.m. Most often, the only time my mind gets a break from it all is when I am holding my whiteboard marker, explaining to half a dozen of my English-deficient students how to use the different verb tense forms in a sentence, or when to come up with a statement using the subjunctive mood. I must have been born to become a teacher. A teacher of this language – to be exact – even if my previous circumstances had prevented me from turning into one. Hmm..

And sometimes, too, I think, this could be what life is all about for me: my beloved son, my job, a few goals left, my writing hopes, and this online/blogging world. I may have missed one or two factors in there. Allowance for an addition or two also probable. Not bad… Baby steps to reclaim my life may be just what I need.

So that ought to be my focus for now – as I also aspire for the bent that will guide me to a light sufficient. That is…while riding it out in this world of the living.

Not bad at all.

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Solitude On My Own Terms

Warm on the heels of famous women and their recent breakdowns, Demi  and Heather were the “It” girls of my generation who were both destined to become eternally cute and popular. Having been casualties of humiliating divorces, they’re also now both enduring the ruthless passage of time. Recently pegged as poor little rich women who’ve somehow lost their way, many have slammed them for being spoiled by their wealth and fame that they couldn’t deal with their current mid-life crisis like the rest of us.

How good can people get sometimes at creating a smokescreen that obscures their true feelings and plights?

The inclination of these hapless celebrities to succumb to drugs and alcohol has puzzled me for too long. What really drives them to give in to such pernicious temptations? Has their pain become unbearable, resulting to their inevitable free fall into the abyss that culminated in their self-destruction?

I’m in no position to cast stones at anyone this time as I have a gentle understanding of what these people have gone through. Melodramatic as it may sound, I too know what real pain feels like. The sickening ache that I’m sure can overwhelm even the strongest of hearts. How many times have I skirted on the very edges of despair when this soul of mine felt like crying out loud in the rain?

More than I’m willing to admit, I guess.

I don’t remember ever inviting drama into my life and yet it has come like a cat that has sprung unbidden onto my lap. Then there had been moments when certain kinds of melancholy or some sense of emptiness would creep in like a mysterious stranger in the middle of the night, and the only sensible way out was for me to relearn how to sail through the rough seas.

Growing up and even now that I’m an adult, I’ve always felt like an outcast. Exactly much the same as the eternal wallflower that prides itself on contemplating the paradigms of its existence, while possessing a pleasant awareness of an alternative route to an imagined realm at liberty from all things mundane.

Music, movies, literature, art, nature… They’re the outlines that characterize the wonderful breadth of my solitary world. The best friends I’ve had for so long. Even the stark beauty I find in the heart of loneliness has not shown any signs of fading.

Alone with my thoughts, I could conjure up happiness every now and then, muse on some lonesome episodes from my past, and in all its glory bring back the dead and gone..

Worlds might have come crashing down and prayers remained unanswered. I, who have gone off the deep end in certain unrelenting personal winters of my life, am still determined to tough it out.

As we’ve no choice but to soldier on.

I remember how my father, who had sensed my predicaments in his earlier ailing years, had told me these exact words with a smile, “Even if I want to, I can’t get too worried about you. You’re the true-blooded daughter of mine who can easily discern the correct path and decide on the right thing to do. You’ve always been strong.”

Oh dear father… if you only knew…