Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lessons in Hope: Jane Eyre and a Cup of Crazy

"No sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a naughty little girl.  Do you know where the wicked go after death?"

"They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer.

"An what is hell?  Can you tell me that?"

"A pit full of fire."

"And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there forever?"

"No, sir."

"What must you do to avoid it?"

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: "I must keep in good health and not die." ~Charlotte Bronte, Jane Erye

The Enemy Within: "I want to LIVE!!"
Yours Truly has experienced a rough couple weeks: A combination of Heartbreak and Work Stress proved more than this Historian could handle.  My Drama required two counseling appointments followed by a change in medication beginning today.  During the former, we discussed my "Mental Chatter", "Alarm Bells," "Moderate Responses",  and"Feelings of Inadequacy".  Nothing makes a Gal's day like a long discussion about why she believes herself unworthy.  By this afternoon, the new medicine had begun making me nauseous.  Perfect.  Everything is Fucking Perfect.  Honestly, each morning since the problems began, I wake up fearful something worse will happen while still praying for a solution.  Careful/obsessive consideration causes me to descend into my own personal hell, "a pit full of fire," self loathing, and despair.  Somehow everything comes down to my inability to be "enough".  My heart tells me that if I were whatever "enough" is then I wouldn't be hurting now.  On a rational level, I understand that bruising is simply an aspect of human interaction.  Drawing close to another person means allowing him or her into our vulnerable places, opening our hearts despite past wounds, and taking a leap of faith.  That's not easy, my Friends.  To make matters worse, I am fairly certain this process takes time and patience. 

Waiting is difficult for me.  Not difficult like: "Its difficult to resist a piece of chocolate cake."  Difficult like: "Its difficult to lead an Army into Medieval Warfare if you're an Imp." (Game of Thrones, Dude.  Check it out) I'm afraid patience is not a virtue I possess.  Yet, unfortunately, no part of my heart is held back once I sign off ownership.  Listen, I'm not stupid.  I understand that the Heart is a Fragile Organ.  In an effort to protect myself, as a personal policy, I rarely hand mine out.  It must be won despite my determination to never love anyone.  (Healthy huh?)  Yet, in spite of my best efforts, here I stand, confused and aching.  In the last few days, exhaustion finally caught up with me: The Dam broke and the Waterworks ensued.  Now, it takes no more than a Barrista informing me Quincy's Cafe is out of Peppermint flavoring to cause a torrent of tears.  "Oh, what fresh hell is this?  Why is everything broken?"  Everything is broken.  That's what keeps running through my mind as I tear up.  Yet, the truth is, its not.  The truth is the hurt is a moment in time.  The truth is this doesn't mean I will never get to speak to the person I'm missing again.  The truth is every nightmare is not a reality. The truth is each day springs new and offers hope.   The truth is I'm terrified.

What I need, at the moment, is courage, a candle in the dark to light my way.  For a number of personal reasons, my mind keeps floating to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.  What I've always loved about the narrative is that, in Jane and Mr. Rochester, Bronte offers two broken characters who adore and wound one another.  Their scars draw them closer together.  Their Union is one of anxious concern for the other person rather than social convention or childish notions of romance.   Call me Silly, but Romance to me is praying the other person is well, hurting when he or she is not, and aching to ease their unrest.  Of course, Jane Eyre is a book.  We suspect the outcome, feeling sure the problems will resolve and wounds will mend.  Life offers us no such assurances.  Because I've lost the license to my heart, right now, I'll simply have to pray for myself and the other person, "stay in good health and not die." (And, of course, dye my hair Red, Yellow, and Orange with a Dark Copper Base.  At least my Tresses are Cheerful)
*Lately, I've been listening to The New Pornographers.  "Use it" is one of my favorites at the moment: "You had to send the wrecking crew after me.  I can't walk right."   Its a perkier song than the lyrics suggest.  Anyway, we all send the wrecking crew from time to time.  Just takes some time to sift through the rubble.
And because I can't help myself allow me to recommend, "Jackie, Dressed in Cobras".  The closest thing I will reveal as an explanation is that a Gal who thinks up names for the Biological Warfare Engineers for Those Meddling Joes and the Cobra Commandos (Sandy Smallpox and Sarah Syphilis) can't help herself.


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