There was a movie made in what? 2000 or so, called “Memento” and it was one of those dark, confusing psycho-horror films that makes you think so much that you feel like you ran a mental marathon as you leave the theater. It was not as complex as, say, “Inception,” which I am convinced I never fully got despite all of the others around me sitting back smugly, contemplating it most eloquently, and nodding knowingly to one another (“And good for you!“), but it was still a brain tickler.
The plot is very busy, but breaks down to a man whose only memory is that his wife was brutally raped and murdered and that he suffers from short-term memory loss as the result of a beating he took during the same attack. He is determined to find the attacker not only to exact vengeance on behalf of his wife and his memories, but also because the police find some incongruities in his story because, well, short term memory loss. The story is told in two parts, one in black and white and one in color and at the end, the two stories coalesce and we have the complete arc.
The protagonist develops a system for helping him to remember significant clues he discovers regarding the attacker’s identity because, well, short term memory loss. He takes time in his day not only to leave himself Polaroid shots and a plethora of post-it notes, but also to tattoo vital bits of information onto his body. This greatly reduces the chance of some important tidbit getting caught on the sleeve of shirt and flung away under the radiator or whatever.
I totally need to do this.
There are incredibly vital lessons that I learned a hundred times along the way of my fifty-plus years on Earth that I just keep forgetting. I have to admit, I had two really awesome years. I had two years of peace and love and truly being in the magical zone and feeling the power of being locked into where you are supposed to be in the world. I could feel the forward motion in play and let me tell you, it was going in a really, really great direction.
You know how your boat is moving along at a pleasant keel, the wind on your face, the sun on your back, the power of the river beneath you and then suddenly some asshole stands up and starts freaking out and rocking the boat all over the place in a blind panic because of threats real and imagined? You know how when that happens, you are at first startled because it’s a panic attack out of the blue, but because you are an enlightened soul, you give them the benefit of the doubt and say calming things and find workable solutions and compromises? You know how they start to breathe easier and you think you’re going to get back on course, but then they freak out even more and won’t stop freaking out and you’re taking on water like mad and the boat is going down fast and you’re left wondering why this person is still in the boat?
Like a chicken who gets turned over and has its neck stroked, I forget. I start to trust the easy sway of the boat and the sure and steady pull of the current. Then the turbulence comes again from the inside and I think, “Damn. Why am I always blind-sided by that?”
I have now had around three months of boat freak out. A perfectly good boat that was sea-worthy and strong is now a wreck not because of the perceived battle that raged outside of it, but the one that went on within its walls. The battle that demanded a better boat right now and ranted about who financed how much of the boat’s construction and how faulty that construction is even though we carefully drew up the blueprints ourselves and it is sailing just fine…or was. There is blame to be assessed because I did not know how jacked up the boat was even though I am still looking at the stupid boat and only seeing the damage done by the inside battle. It’s like trying to sail with Veruca Salt. I never was one to bring an uzi to a knife fight, so I get mowed down by those who do because I forget they are going to bring an uzi. I am comfortable listening to music at a 5 and I forget that amp goes “all the way up to 11” and is going to blast out my ear drums with no notice.
As the tension and the battle continues, I lose more and more of myself every day and that is what I see as the real tragedy. I like me and while I am not a stranger to or opposed to positive deconstruction, this feels more like negative erosion. I am all for the idea that evolutionary change and birth only occur amidst pain and hardship. If we are comfortable, we seek to change nothing. I get that as well as or better than most. I am open to what the changes bring and what the hardship brings.
Every day, I feel myself becoming less of the person I was and authentically am and more of the person I never wanted to be. Sometimes, what I need to tattoo onto my body are reminders of who I am because on most days, that is so long ago and far away that I cannot even remember who that person is. I can’t remember what it is like to smile and to not feel sad all of the time. I can’t remember what it is like to sleep peacefully and wake up happy to be there. I can’t remember what it is like to feel invested in anything at all. I can’t remember what it is like to not feel set up all the time.
I am going through the motions now to build a better boat so the panic will stop, peace will resume, and I can formulate a plan, whatever that plan turns out to be. In the meantime, I have to try like hell to pull myself together and find the spiritual center inside that is somewhere under all of the water the boat has taken on. I have to appease in order to have peace, in order to think, in order to find truths, in order to recognize reason, in order to feel safe, in order to learn to stand again and not hunker down.
I have to find the peaceful place in the eye of the storm because my boat can’t take on much more with capsizing.
A friend of mine just posted this image:
This has been the position I have maintained for years now, so I am going to dig deep and try to find the love in there because the fear just hurts too much. I know that I am a survivor and that whatever comes, I will navigate successfully, however that ends up looking and being defined. For now,I have to keep breathing, try and get some much needed sleep, and trust the process completely. When I wake up in a couple of hours, I will light my candles and again begin the process of trying to find my authentic core and operating from there. Physical illness has taken over this week and that only illustrates how far away from me I have drifted. That never happens. Time to start writing notes and re-learning.