31
Jan
13

deep memory days

Have you ever had times when you feel a life-time of painful memories sweeping down around you, enveloping you, not letting you go; memories that spread their awesome distortions on the today of where you are but cannot claim being there? These are the memories of things wrongfully done either to you or by you, that have woven their woeful song deeply into your name. You may feel it somewhere around your heart, but it’s not about your heart; it’s physical as well as emotional, but not organic. It’s about feeling trapped in the old songs with their voices—loud in the head—fueled by something in the present—words or deeds that layer themselves upon each other until the deepest pain is reached and you are just a mass of deep purple hurt. Sometimes it happens fast and you’re down for the count. Other times distinction between today and all the yesterdays melts slowly downward like an ice cream cone…all over your hands. These are times that I struggle to stay oriented and call upon God as the Ground of My Being for help. They are also times when, as an aging person, I feel tired of the effort and just want it all to be over. (Don’t worry, I’m okay.)

This can be a form of post-traumatic stress disorder…what is now referred to as PTSD. It is that for me. The inclusion/exclusion experiences of the past several years since returning to church, have attached themselves to a number of earlier church experiences of abuse, as well as early personal experiences of betrayal. I am sensitized to this in many colorful ways. Now, thanks to thousands of veterans, survivors of military malevolence, we have an explanation for what happens to people when they can no longer tolerate painful memories that tend (like flash-fires), to blossom disproportionately without consent. For some of us with much simpler forms of this human condition, compassion and consideration is a good bit of first aid. I would like some of that please. And for dessert, I would like affirmation. One never outgrows the good affirmation can bring. It’s like yeast: makes the spirit rise and the soul feel loved. This quote from Gladys Bronwyn Stern is a favorite of mine: “Silent gratitude isn’t  much use to anyone.”  Ah…so very true for me.

I am cycling out of this gloom that I’ve been in this morning. It’s a given…I always do…eventually. But I never stop wondering why it has to be this way…so complicated and dense? Maybe it’s because we are always the same age inside? Human nature, I guess…we are all a little bit dumb and careless with each other. Me included.

I need to dance.

I feel better already. I hope I didn’t bring you down… 🙂

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5 Responses to “deep memory days”


  1. 1 jstudenski@comcast.net
    January 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    well done, o great one

  2. January 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Dancing is good for the soul. If you have an injury and can’t dance, so simply feel like watching some beautiful, lovely, stunning dancing, check out this amazing film: Pina http://www.pina-film.de/en/
    I watched it on Netflix and thought of you right away.
    Dancing is so wonderful.

  3. 4 Anne
    January 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    This didn’t bring me down but it was interesting because, I too, felt despondent this morning and was better by this afternoon. Being the Nine that I am, I didn’t know why I was feeling this way….no memories, per se, to attribute it to as you described….just a vague sense of sadness. Maybe it’s the loss of dance as I knew it (I have the film Pina in my Netflix queue), or my own personal demons, or maybe just the barometric pressure. Whatever, I’m glad that you articulate our common feelings and am ever grateful for our 40 plus years of friendship. We grow old together – admittedly you will always lead the way and I will follow in your wisdom.

    • 5 Naomi
      February 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Thank you for your message. We have been through a lot together. Our sense of knowing each other has survived many a bump in the road. Growing old together has a nice ring to it. I am grateful for how well you listen and understand me. And on another note: thank you so much for following the fits and starts of this blog…this is really my way of communicating with others…my best way.


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