On the Other Side

Back, for the first time in weeks, I have come out on the other side of feeling perplexed, discouraged, and disillusioned.  I still live in the woods, but feel I am finally “out-of-the-woods!”

A few weeks back, “Anonymous” sent me a response to something I wrote.  They stayed anonymous because they wrote unkind, extremely critical and

judgmental words to me, and if they are “friends”with my friend David, who encouraged me to write whatever I wished, they did not want to be recognized.  On the other hand, perhaps “Anonymous” is just someone who came across my stuff, expressed their initial, negative reaction but did not have the honesty to share their name.  In any case, I understood that some people out there “get” me, and some do not.  I also understood the criticism, as my tendency is to self-criticize more than anyone outside me does.  However, my life purpose is to love myself, so that I may love others, and I realized that this anonymous person does not know how to express the love that is within them.  They are more “normal”: full of expectation, judgmental and very critical, with a tendency to victimize others.

At first, I felt untouched by the response, and decided to give no credence to such mean-spirited words by posting it.  However, as the weeks passed, I realized my desire to share my thoughts greatly diminished.  I wondered about the sort of people who have a strong need to be mean, and feel justified in expressing it.  I thought about how most of my childhood and youth I was almost a mute, afraid to verbalize anything, due to living in a household dominated by a man whose rule was “children are to be seen and not heard.”  It was not until I got into my twenties that I began to relax a little and began to feel free to express.  Over the years, I notice I dislike being around loud, domineering, seemingly insensitive people and I have no qualms about avoiding situations where I may encounter such people.  Call it fear or just my own self-preservation, in my book, I am being kind to myself, and in turn, can know how to be kind to others.  I feel for those who just cannot love themselves and thus strike out at others.  I know I have been one of these.  Less and less does it bother me to encounter unhappy people, for I know they will eventually learn the lessons they need, as I have, and still am learning.  However, that does not stop me from thinking about them.

This morning I learned of the death of a young friend, three days ago.  I spent all day remembering him and his family.  As I split wood outside, I talked aloud to him, encouraging him to fly and know his freedom and in the next breath, exclaimed to him, “How could you just leave us all behind?”  I sang at the top of my lungs as many of the words of “Lazarus” that I could recall.  I drank the last glass of wine left over from the holidays, toasting him.  He left us and I am sure he needed to go, for that seems to be the way of living and dying.  We come into this life with a goal to learn something.  We remember or we do not remember what it was we wished to learn; we have a short stint in this dimension.  We get to leave when we are finished with this attempt, and it is an ongoing journey.  I will not see my friend again, but I know he is still with us.  A generous soul, always warm and friendly and a good hugger, he will be missed.  There were aspects of his personality that I only sensed, as I did not get to be around him very much, but his wife and he were always fun, given the playful banter and witticisms.  He loved his little girl, and probably had more of an influence on her than he ever imagined.  He was a good cook, too!  The few times I was around him, I knew I was in the presence of a higher intelligence, and I am glad to have encountered him this lifetime.  He was a real human being, a natural lover, and probably too sensitive for this world.  I hope the family he leaves behind feels peace, with little doubt that their loved one is okay.  He has simply dropped the old body.

“Anonymous” chastised me for not sharing anything of any use.  I will try to share information that is more useful.  Next time I write I will share the latest fun thing I learned to do a week ago: how to make tamales.  Meanwhile, be well, all you people out there, or maybe nobody is out there, and this is all just my imagination!  It does not matter, for I hear the drip, drip, drip on the roof from the misty, drizzling rain.  The cozy fire needs another log, and then it is to my bed I go, to dream and fly for a short while.
Maybe I will meet up with my young friend and we can have the conversation we missed, across the bridge, on the other side.

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2 Responses to On the Other Side

  1. David Price says:

    Thank you for letting us into your world from time to time. I always find a needed reminder of some essential truth or beauty in your writing. There will be grouchy people who become grouchier reading your writing (or, God forbid, mine), because they need something else. But that’s what our delete buttons are for.
    There are those of us who need to hear from you on a regular basis, just remember that.

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