Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writing myself a new day

Today has within it the seeds of possibility.

A blank canvas, my day can have an image of great beauty painted on it. My day is a white journal page, and the thoughts I write on it can speak of miracles.

But fears bay at my doorstep like eager hounds.

I want them to go away, so I'm tempted to let them in and give them something.

They're louder and louder. My legs and hands go numb as I think of the mistakes in my past, the mistakes built into my family system for generations. Like a tiny rocket, I need powerful boosters to escape the downward pull. The atmosphere here is heavy with regret.

But then I remember my metaphor of The Footbridge from an article I'm writing:

"Imagine crossing a footbridge. It’s not so hard, really. You just put one foot in front of the other. Even if it’s as old and ratty as the one Indiana Jones always seems to be crossing, you hold on. You worry, you persist, and after a little creaking and swaying, you get there.
Now imagine you’re crossing a footbridge that doesn’t yet exist. You’re building it as you walk. Each plank appears only as you step down. You have to take it on faith that the bridge will be there when you shift your weight with each footfall.
Now imagine that you don’t even know if the other end of the bridge is attached at the destination you’ve chosen, or whether you’re going to step off it to discover you’re ten miles south of where you wanted to be.

That’s how it is to try and be the good mother you never had."

I realize it's not just a metaphor about parenting. It's about creating a life when I have no clue how.

A thousand metaphors sing to me from faiths of others: "leap and the road will appear; a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; today is the first day of the rest of your life..."

My heart aches, wondering if I can be forgiven for my mistakes. Wondering why I should believe I deserve second chances.

But that's a story for another day.

As the words flow from me this morning, I realize it's suddenly quiet. The hounds are gone, at least for now.

Time to pour my coffee and start the day.

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