We are what we imagine in ourselves.
In this moment, though, my imagination is a dull grey. It trudges with jaw set to endurance mode. Wings furled behind dragging in the mud – too much damned effort to get off the ground.
Is it me that’s too heavy, or the current …vicissitudes? My experiment in taking extended breaks from technology devices has taught me that at least part of the heaviness is the result of my lack of electronic discernment. I feel numb after I’ve been connected to the internet or to my phone for too long, which for me appears to be any longer than 10 minutes. If I get sucked in for more than that I become disengaged with the focus and rhythm of the day I’ve taken such pains to design. Heavy & flightless.
I don’t count journal, blog or poetry writing in this. When I keep my focus on those things I’m entirely engaged with my internal and external environment. I’m an air balloon kept aloft by curiosity.
I know full well, though, that it’s not just electronic devices that have been leaving me regularly flattened. In ways that run well below daily radar I’ve been buried by and in stories that are not my own for a full decade. Inch by inch this spring I’ve been crawling out from under bad faith agreements and betrayals of trust that have taught me over and over again the value of standing my ground. I’ve watched my family torn apart by toxicity, lived in self-exile from things and people I love, and have been pressed into the kind of poverty that erodes one’s soul because I chose to point out the elephant in the room. At no point have I felt like a victim, nor am I blameless, but it’s been a long long haul. Wings dragging behind in the mud.
We are what we imagine…
As happens when long and taxing engagements near their end, my body begins to release all the intensity I’ve held down all these years in order to function through my days. Turns out this is a long and unpredictable process. Some mornings I wake in the grip of recall – living a trauma again so I can finally and firmly put it to rest. A howling neck, an aching thigh muscle, the distinct sensation of an object buried in the middle of my back, slowly working its way out. A growing kindness in my self, toward my self.
Slowly so very slowly each contentious issue reveals its nugget of understanding. I visit regularly with the family I do have contact with, we make a point of sharing the progression of days, thoughts, and changes together, dancing with trust. I’ve learned to drastically pare back my lifestyle so that I can mostly manage rent, school fees, food and gas while at the same time working smarter, so that my working hours-income ratio is better (so empowering!). I exult in the mind expanding experience of the masters I’ve one-third finished, the growing conviction that what I’m learning is powerful, game-changing stuff. I know it will lead to work that has value well beyond what I can see from here.
What we imagine
…is what we become.