It’s Time

30 Nov

In a few days, I will be at the beginning of another portion of this journey. I find myself in confusion, in a dark forest. Time. I need time to think, time to be. I have nightmares. Last week, I dreamt of a mountain on fire, of a disembodied faceless set of arms with a name that holds my fear. I sleep in fits and starts and I have this need to unpack my heart.

This morning I talked with my friend Lorinda and I told her that there is something within me I need to let go of. My life will be changing soon as my grandmother and my mother and aunt move toward old age and death. My granny can’t remember certain basic things now and when I look at her, I know she knows me but then there is this cloud.

It says I might be anyone. I might be no one. My granny is the last link to my grandfather’s love. When she dies, all of that will pass away. All the Christmasses, the nights watching Carol Burnett, the biscuits, the soft worn hands, the piano and the singing.

Missed the Saturday dance
Could have went but what for
Awfully lonely without you
Don’t get around much anymore

My mother is strong, but she needs people. She isn’t like me. I will end up being responsible for them all.

And I have no one to be responsible for me.

I am the end.

At that moment, I realized I needed time, time to think, time to be alone. Time to grieve what is to come, time to grieve what I have already lost. I need time to write and to process where I am at this point in my journey.  I know that many will not understand. They will judge me and think, “Must be nice to run away when the world gets too tough”. I can’t blame them. I look at others’ challenges and I know mine seem petty compared to theirs. But I’m tired of legitimizing my own struggle. A boulder and precipice in my path might only be a pebble and puddle to them and vice versa. I never had children, nor the luxury of time away from students to adjust to this new way of living. I saved days to care for babies that just never came, but I’m not as sad about that. I’ve always tried to be a bootstrap mentality gal. When life shits on you, you clean it off as best you can and keep walking. Who cares if you smell like shit?

But when I can’t move through the day without too much raw emotion to be in front of the kids, nor sleep long enough at night to not be a walking zombie I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’ve got to go, and the way has revealed itself.

I need to go be with the Universe…God…Buddha…Krishna…Allah … Jevovah…Jesus whatever the hell you want to call something bigger than yourself that you pray is in charge. I need peace. I need to go get my Cyndi back. When I gave up fighting it, fighting the persistently painful thought that others would see me as weak and imperfect if I let go and felt sorrow, the path laid itself out.

Dear World:  I am not perfect.

I am human.

So, I am going away for a while. I need to go find some peace and the safest place I know of is Ocracoke. I am meant to be doing this. This is something I need and whatever comes from it,  the thought that my grandfather once taught me, “I am enough” will be restored. The only place I can open my heart that is safe is next to Annie.

I have often told folks of my friendship with Annie. How I found her twelve years ago taking pictures in the O’Neal Fulcher Cemetery on the island. It always struck me that she died so young and I wondered after her for years. I used that picture in class many times before I actually thought, maybe I ought to find out who she is. And so I did.

What I found out about her is a long an involved story and might be better suited to a historical drama, but what I do know is this. Caring for her grave brings me a peace I cannot describe. When I sit next to her, I am home, she listens to me. When I am there, walking down Back Road, I know the way. I know the way even in the sandy dark. I’m not afraid. I can be raw and bare there and know that no one will be looking.  The shell of my persona needs to be left behind and I need to flesh out raw and new like a snake shedding her skin.

Personal crisis…yes, I’ll admit it.

We all come to them….all of us. I am the only one who can fix mine.

There’s only me.

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