Five Minute Friday…Present

I’m trying something new here. I’m linking up to Lisa-Jo’s weekly writing exercise Five Minute Friday. This is a stretch for me. You’ll see why.

5 minutes.

No editing.

Just writing.

One word prompt.

Start…write….stop.

That’s it.

Let’s do this before I change my mind.

This week’s word: Present

Phot credit: JKMedia

Photo credit: JKMedia

GO

The air around me feels still. The sounds are all around yet here I am in this moment closing it out. All of it. Or pretending. Because the thing is, I need this. Yes, it’s for me. And I even feel selfish, but the moment is mine. Even with everything going on around me. I’m taking it. This moment. This is my present. It’s not where I was. It’s not where I want to be. It’s just the now. Because that’s all I’ve got. And really, it can be taken from me at any moment. Any single moment.

And that terrifies me.

The thought of the present ending. The thought of losing out, losing it, losing control. Maybe if I clutch a little tighter it will be mine and I can stay here in this moment. But there are no guarantees. Maybe losing it is not even the scariest part.

Maybe missing it is.

The thought that I would be to wrapped up in the was or the will be for me to know what is.

I can’t afford to miss it.

I can’t bear the thought.

The price is too high.

If I lose the present, does the yesterday or tomorrow really matter?

STOP

Now it’s your turn! Head on over to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog and give it a try. Do it for you. And while you’re there make sure to encourage someone else.

Enjoy the dance!

Monsters in the Closet

I pretend that I can keep myself contained. I somehow lie to myself thinking that I can just show people what I want them to see, even if it’s not the ideal me. But being a heart on your sleeve kind of person complicates the desire to keep things neat and tidy.

I started my day thinking I was doing pretty well. As a frustration popped up here or there, I quieted it with a deep breath and kept going. But breathing never really rids one of the ugly, it just oxygenates it. Somehow the real dirty pieces began taking in my oxygen and my collected shell was worthless. My ugly pieces started oozing out all over.

octopus

photo credit: http://acqtaste.com/

When pieces like that start to show you can’t shove them back in fast enough.

I can’t undo the words spoken or the volume at which I spoke them.

I can’t erase the dirty look or the clenched teeth.

I can’t take back my opinions spread freely about another as if they hold any merit.

So now I’m left with those ugly pieces of me oozing out all over for everyone to see. If no one saw them would I care? I seem to forget that it’s not the fact that others can see them that causes my pain. Rather it is the fact that I try to hide those parts of me that hurts me. We all have parts of ourselves that we don’t want people to see. Maybe it’s not the ugly pieces that are so bad, maybe it’s the hiding that creates the mess.

So I’m left to wonder what I can do to fix this, to fix me. I realize I have to look at the ugly rather than pretend it doesn’t exist. A monster in the closet is more intimidating than one in the open.

I can quiet my tongue enough to say I’m sorry.

I can loosen my jaw and admit that my face can speak louder than my words.

I can talk about what matters instead of passing judgement on others.

I am not helpless in this mess. If I want to stop oozing, I need to stop containing.

Seeing Beyond My Hard

Sometimes I get so tired of hearing my own voice. It always sounds louder than I intended, as if it is amplified as it comes back to me. My words bounce off walls closing in tighter around me. Suddenly, I’m claustrophobic. It seems as if the words reverberating are taking up the air space and I can’t find the oxygen as I suck the words back in.

head in hands

My face finds my hands, and in that small space of my palms I find a breath, the exhale reaching my eyelashes. Maybe there is still oxygen in this place. Maybe my words are not as void as I thought. Maybe the walls are in fact stoic and still, respecting my space, even if it is a prison.

When I talked to God my words seemed  to rebound. I heard a cacophony of myself returning to me as a boomerang returns to the sender. I look up and I see sky, but I look level and I see rock. How did I build this impenetrable bunker around me? It’s like a stone wall has been constructed all around. Sure, some people have added a stone here or there, but the majority are my doing.

stone wall building

I have spent years gathering stones. Careful, not to throw them, I stacked them. At first they developed into a low perimeter, almost like a beautiful fence marking my territory. Unrestricted, I kept building to protect. It never was really a fence, now was it? Even a fence looks like a wall when you are on your face.

When I uncover my eyes and look around again, the walls are no longer closing in, but the stones are steadfast. Hardness is hard to move. I begin to turn around and look at every place, every stone that was added and I almost see the memories playing out on each rough surface.

stone wall

The stone that I put there because I was so hurt by the words someone said, I vowed never to allow anyone to hurt me that way again.

The small stone that most wouldn’t even see that was that chip that fell from my shoulders when the irritation could no longer sit there.

The menacing boulder leaving me only to shudder as I remember that horrible hurt that left me with clenched teeth and tear-stained cheeks.

The long, striated stone that stretches the length of one whole wall; the layers of hurt after hurt pressed in hard by the same person.

When I stop turning I look up and to my surprise the walls only go as high as I can reach. Everything above me is vibrant blue and alive. I manage only one word, a quiet whisper escaping as a breath to the endless sky: Yahweh.stone wall sky

As the air from my lungs mingles with the air above my head and above my prison and to the heavens I hear a rock fall. Without even a glance I know it was mine. For the rocks built up around my body are far lighter than those built up around my heart, and suddenly I feel an ounce lighter.

The whisper is a little louder now, containing real sound rather than just air: Yahweh.

And another rock falls.stone wall opening

The words come more quickly, leaving my lips before I can think of them: Yahweh, Yahweh, Yahweh. Exhale, exhale, exhale. The very name purging the stagnant air from my lungs and destroying pieces of my carefully constructed confine.

I look around me and still see rock, but there are openings now; places where I can see beyond my hard. What I see is beautiful, and I long to see more, see further, be free.

cross wall

Freedom comes at a price. I may be broke, but my bill is paid in full.