Monday, January 11, 2010

All that we see or seem...

Searching.
A dozen or so years ago, perhaps even a dozen years before that, the search for my particular purpose in this life gradually became more urgent and the need to understand became a painful quest, much like it does for most young people. I have years of journals in which I have pondered at length my (cliched) meaning in this life.
I've reached some level of success with relative ease in everything I've ever tried. And just as quickly grown bored with it.
Always, always, I am searching. It will be around the next corner, the next event,the next accomplishment, when I open the pretty gate and walk through, the secret will reveal itself to me at long last. My special purpose will illuminate me and give me peace, perhaps there will even be harp music in the background and a beam of light will shine upon me.

Or, maybe I am too broken. This thought frequently gave/gives me angst and sweaty palms. Maybe I am too broken; rendered unworthy of meaningful purpose or talents to share with the world. A broken promise.
But still I held out hope; the search continued. Perhaps, I think, it is hiding, lurking just out of sight under the narrow crooked stairs of my mind. Maybe it's all a mirage, a lake in the desert, taunting my dry gritty mouth.
Maybe no such a thing exists.
But then I get married and have a child...and, I believe, THIS must be my purpose.
And, in truth, I was in love with being pregnant, with being a mother and in love with my daughter; charmed by her every movement.
I read ALL the books and baby-proofed and bought only organic baby food. I never allowed her premium diaper to be damp more than a second. She was gorgeous and healthy and happy.
She never had a temper tantrum, there were no 'terrible two's'. She was a pleasure, smart, loved.
I cried soul-deep watching her walk into the school with her little backpack on that first day of kindergarten. So sweet she was, and how my heart broke that she was growing up and away so fast.
She excelled in school, straight A's.
Now that she is in her teens, I know I will be without my "job", my purpose in life...soon. What then? What will my purpose be?
Worse than The Search, far worse, is the gripping fear that I've handed this painful legacy down to my daughter. That my brokenness has somehow broken her, in spite of my best efforts. She is showing all the signs, in these teenage years. She has become lazy recently, her only "passion" is listening to music on her iPod (tuning the rest of us out) and reading and texting her friends. I call her Les Mis when she is PMS-ing (in my head, not aloud...much); because the look on her face when she is hormonal tells you all you need to know: Stay Away.
  The physical affection/cuddles she was always at the ready for, now rare. Her grades are still pretty good, but as of this school year, they are peppered with some B's. I don't love some of her new friends. I dont love her eye rolls. No, I don't love those damn eye rolls. I know most of this, if not all of it, is normal teenage "stuff", but still I have so much guilt.

Guilt that for all my best efforts I have failed her; my voice too formidable a weapon when acquiescence would have served her better. My heavy sigh and resigned defeat when I should have had a strong voice and held fast to the discipline.
I know too, that all of this is normal parent "stuff", but it doesnt make it easier.
I cant fail her. It's not an option. I brought her into this world and I want the best for her. She is lovely and I dont want her Searching. I want her Knowing her worth, her purpose, her gifts.

Still I know I am one of the lucky ones. I am one of the very luckiest of the Broken People that come from Broken People. I know, in spite of my guilt and worries, that I'm doing my best as a mom. My daughter is healthy, gorgeous and smart, and she does KNOW she is loved. She will never have to Search for that knowledge.

I am happy and healthy. I am loved and more importantly, I love the wonderful people in my life. Yes, I have known physical and mental pain, and yes, I have been unloved and unlovable. I have been betrayed. I have been beaten, choked and abandoned. But I am still lucky.
 I'm blessed to intimately know the luminous joy of being a mother, and of loving and being loved by my husband. He is a steady rock; faithful, loyal, patient and generous. He cools me when I feel scorched. He sees the good in me when I see none. He loves me when I am unlovable. He mortars over the holes in my heart and believes in me when I don't believe in myself.  When I am an agent of chaos, he soothes me. I believe I do the same for him, though he isn't broken. He is a Superstar.

Sitting here today, laptop under my fingers, silence but the bark of a distant dog, I hear the message loud and clear. In the words of Edgar Allan Poe:

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream"

If I never have any special gift to offer this world, I do have a purpose, purposes rather. To love and be loved, to write, to dream.
~lola

4 comments:

a cat of impossible colour said...

Thanks for your comment, Lola - I wish we still had some of that lovely sunshine, because it has been pouring with rain for the last couple of days! Hope you're not too freezing, and take care. A xx

La Belette Rouge said...

I am so glad you came by my blog. This is a fantastic post I so admire your struggle to find your purpose. Loving and being loved is a pretty fantastic purpose.

It sounds to me that your brokenness has made you strong. We are always strongest at the broken places. It sounds to me as if you are a wonderful mother and that you have given her the best gift you can---love.

I will be back!!!

Lola Sharp said...

Thanks La Belette, for the kind words and for visiting me.

May your week be lovely and he-weasel keep up his sweet ways.

Hugs,
lola

Maggie May said...

oh i love this. i love your words so honest and your voice so clear.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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