Monday, October 08, 2012

I miss you most of all when autumn leaves start to fall

I feel your loss so much more when the autumn leaves start to fall by escher is still alive

I sincerely believe that most of the decisions we make, especially the important ones, are not made consciously. I'm not talking about whether you fancy carrot or fruit cake with your cup of tea, but the choices upon which the direction of your life hinges. There is so much to ponder and process that any conscious decision made is an illusion. The unconscious mind is required to process all the complexities.

During the time you try and make the decision if you continue to feel turmoil then you aren't ready to choose, your unconscious mind has not finished it's job. One day it will cease to be a decision anymore where you have to choose at all. One day you'll just know what is right, you'll feel it in your core without necessarily knowing why. I've been witness to this happening in my life at several key points on my journey.

I've not been one of life's copers, 'you're too senstive!' they'd all say. Where shyness seemed to be the culprit and being forced to confront your sensitivies the solution, I would try and retract myself away from difficult situations. Sensitive people aren't necessarily shy, indeed I can be the life and soul, what we need is space to breathe, when we feel overwhelmed, which is difficult in the midst of a non-sensitive world, so often the urge is to retreat and to hide and to build a brick wall around oneself.

In my early twenties I had my heart broken and I had never felt so shattered and bereft. It brought on the mother of all retreats, outwardly everything was normal but inside the maelstrom was devouring my soul. Contact and vulnerability was dangerous and I tensed every sinew to make sure I could not endanger myself again. Hideously damaged on the front line I ran backwards as fast as I could.

A couple of months later I took on two cats who needed a home - their names were Lottie and Gizmo - and we three became a little family, we needed no-one else but ourselves. I poured into them all my vulnerability and love and as long as it would go on forever then I'd feel safe and happy and reassured. This wasn't a healthy place to be.

More than ten years passed and the wall I had built was solid, high and impregnable and yet I wanted someone to breach the defences. But it was far too high to throw the keys over. I was stuck behind ramparts of my own design.

And then events took another turn and someone managed to scale the ramparts and find their way in (wow! this sounds proper corny! But hey it's all true so I'm just gonna have to carry on). She loves me back the same way I love her and she's my rock. Just by being there she allows me to step outside of myself and grow and mature, without her I'd still be an emotional cripple, although I still have to walk with a stick!

Despite this my feline coven remained and I had not prepared at all for their inevitable passing, I just couldn't contemplate having my heart broken again.

And then Gizmo died quite suddenly and once again I felt snapped in two. I felt she'd been snatched away from me. I felt cheated and angry and desperately hurt. I wasn't prepared then for the realities and harshness of life. it knocked me sideways and I dreaded every single day after that I would lose Lottie at any moment too.

That was six years ago but Lottie's feisty character and vitality lived on and on, never quite quelling the dread I felt but filling my life with many magical moments of comedy and companionship. What a fantastic little character she was.

But I knew the day was coming and I knew I couldn't hide from it. One day soon she would be gone.

She became ill several months ago and it was the beginning of the end but despite this I was going to ensure that her final days would be fantastic and she would have quality of life to the end. I did everything I could for her, and I suppose for me too but I also wondered whether I would be brave enough to know when her time had come.

A week ago she took a turn for the worse and I knew the day was galloping towards me. I felt like things were okay whilst I could do something, make things better, make her happy and she'd let me know that she was okay too. But now I'd run out of things I could do, I'd become helpless in the midst of inevitability and I already felt grief piled upon me.

And then I had a dream:-

I was at the bottom of a sea cliff with another rock climber. I climbed up the face to the top and then it was his turn to follow. Half way up his grip loosened and he fell off breaking the fingers on one of his hands. I lowered him on a rope to the bottom of the cliff and attempted to phone for an ambulance on my mobile phone, but I couldn't raise a signal.

I shouted down to him, "don't worry, I'll go and call for help! There's a building over there, they'll surely have a phone!"

I ran over the building and it was a large office full to the brimwith people working. I frantically went from desk to desk picking up each phone but I couldn't reach the emergency services. I was thwarted at every turn. I tried and tried and tried but it just wasn't going to happen. I could do no more for my friend, my attempts to help were now futile and the gradual realisation was upon me that it was time to give up and let it go.

When I woke up from the dream I knew what it meant, in fact I knew what it meant whilst I was dreaming it too. Lottie should not suffer more than she has to, it was time to let her go.

Today was the day I'd lose her, that day I had dreaded for six years. But I just knew it was time to say goodbye, it felt right, it felt necessary, I wasn't torn. Her spirit remained until the end and it was peaceful when she did go.

I had tried to imagine this day and the very thought of it made me sick to my stomach but now it was here an inner strength bubbled up from within me and I felt able to cope and to do the right thing. I found peace with the decision I'd made and I knew deep down it was right.

Of course I am sad and bereft but my unconscious mind had been working overtime and through all this I'd reached a point of acceptance. I wasn't to be tossed around in the hell of having my heart broken as I had before, this time I had a chance to come to terms with a little more of the realities of life, when before they would eat me alive. Without my rock looking out for my welfare I don't know how I would have come this far.

Within us all, us non-copers and the rest, an inner strength can appear when we need it. It makes subconscious decisions for us and carries us high on its shoulders exactly when we need it the most.

Perhaps we owe it to ourselves to tap into this inner force at other times too, when we aren't so painted into a corner. Building walls can be a necessary short term solution but you must dismantle them before they get too high. It's not healthy to go along otherwise. But then hindsight is a wonderful teacher, I can only hope I heed my own advice in the future.

I haven't made anything for quite a while and it was about time that I did. This is for you Lottie, I miss you but all ends are a beginning too.

And to the twonk who thought it necessary to drive his Subaru Imprezza WRX at over a ton through the lanes today. Don't worry, you can get penis enlargement surgery these days, I know I get emails about it all the time. And There's Viagra if you don't have the time.

And finally: Today's land art was brought to you by the words 'pretzel' and 'butterfly'.


Jill said...


EmandaJ said...

We are responsible for our animal companions and sometimes that responsibility comes with deep pain. We had to release our 12 year old mini schnauzer in May. We still miss him, but he is no longer in pain. I will keep you in my thoughts as you wade through your grief.
Thank you for making art in response to your loss. I can imagine a lovely cat chasing a butterfly.

mansuetude said...

Very beautiful.