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Tag: discomfort

Den of Discontent

Den of Discontent


In this den of discontent

Where the echo of love sounds

The emptiness of dissolution

Seeps into a vacant battleground


As inches become miles

The sting of separation flares

Leaving lonely and anxious skin

Searching for oxygen in precious air


Holding what breath remains

One must cross this blockade

While memories guard the gates

All passage is betrayed


Who will move with mighty mercy

In lonely corridors of perdition

Slaying dragons of animosity

Capturing the reins of admission 


Who will speak the words

Tender, forgotten and true

Filling this hushed vacancy

Forever abandoning the coup



This past year has been incredibly trying yet transformative in the most interesting of ways. An age-old truth rings true. It often takes the darkest of nights to appreciate the return of the light.  This past year, in the depths of darkness, everything I saw as “me” had been slowly stripped away. Likewise, in returning to the light, everything that was and is truly important has been revealed. 


I have not written anything for quite some time. This is because this illness is attacking my brain as well as my body. In a cruel twist of fate, the part of my brain under attack is for semantic interpretation. It takes much effort to write these days and a great deal of review to be sure what is on the page makes sense. Humility has been a constant theme of late.


There is a reason I write rather than speak. Writing has afforded a safe space for my thoughts without the need for conversation. Writing has always been a solitary activity for me and I like to walk through the words on the page rather than run. This peaceful unfolding of thought is relaxing and a necessary release of emotions that course throughout my body.


These emotions reside in a deep well, filled with the turbulent waters of contemplation. My well has been artfully capped for a lifetime under the guise of “self-control”. I may sound thoughtful when I speak, but this is a self-imposed exercise to avoid the tsunami of emotions that would most certainly flow out at any given moment. 


In yet another test of patience and humility, the area of my brain that is damaged, uncaps the well and makes it more difficult to hold back emotions or assess social cues. All these years trying to hide a part of myself only to have it all come rushing back in full view. The divine works in strange ways. It has been a year I laughingly call the “trail of tears” as crying has become a leaky valve unable to be shut off.


Thankfully my support network has stepped up in the best of ways. It is often in the darkest of nights in which those with pure intentions remain and those with hardened hearts move away from the discomfort. My forever partner, Dylan, has been my absolute rock. He has wiped my tears, listened to my overthinking, and held me tight when no words could soothe my broken heart. He has given so much of himself to me this past year and I am forever grateful. My son Zack has also demonstrated his ability to show great compassion. He is a busy young man with a partner and a corporate level job to foster, yet he has always made time to call and check in. He does not only speak but listens, a key component of compassion and a sign of true emotional intelligence. I am blessed beyond words. They are both porch lights in the darkness, guiding me home time after time. 


I wrote the piece above, not about a specific relationship or hardship, but about the many things we must come to terms with in finding peace. It has become clear, a great deal of living and learning is letting go of prideful identifications. This peeling away of layers takes many years and leaves us completely naked and exposed at the end of our lives, just as we arrived.  


On reflection, hardship is a great teacher.  The past year has required me to dig deep, evaluate what is important and let go of the many calculated ways I present myself to the world. What remains is just me. The baby that arrived into this world, wide eyed, curious, innocent and accepting. The young girl that did not put harsh expectations and rules on herself. The adult who did not think of career, money, or success as a measure of a life well lived. This is a person I am glad to meet at long last.


Life is Not A Rough Draft. Write Your Story

Life is Not A Rough Draft. Write Your Story

The Mystic Cookie mobile writing sanctuary. Photo by Dylan Mattina


All the “not readies,” all the “I need time,” are understandable, but only for a short while. The truth is that there is never a “completely ready,” there is never a really “right time.” As with any descent to the unconscious, there comes a time when one simply hopes for the best, pinches one’s nose, and jumps into the abyss. If this were not so, we would not have needed to create the words heroine, hero, or courage.                            

Clarissa Pinkola Estes


Here I stand, on the precipice of great change, with a familiar shudder barreling up my spine. A feeling of extraordinary unease settles in, as if crawling out of my skin. I know change is coming and contemplate what it might feel like. This story of mine will shift and become new, unfamiliar and written in wet ink. My current place will be forgotten just as in the past, a turned page to a well-worn book of my life.


As with any book, I may or may not pick it up and reread sections, sharing stories of the past and lingering in that space. If I linger too long, I risk never writing the final pages. I could quite possibly overstay this chapter and ultimately miss what is meant for me. What a tragedy to never fully live into potential by becoming frozen in the now.


Writing is a metaphor for life in so many ways. A writer begins with an idea, broad in vision, small in detail. As each page is completed, the characters come alive. Characters may surprise by leading the story in an unintended direction. Life, just as in writing, begins with the stories we tell ourselves. We “write” an idea of who we are, what we do and how our life should evolve. It is often quite a surprise when our story veers off into uncharted territory.


As one that rewrites this internal narrative many times over, I am still caught off guard when being assaulted by the winds of change. It is clear that people, including myself, struggle with discrepancies in our stories. I compare this struggle to a new pair of shoes that just don’t seem to fit, but after being broken in become the most comfortable shoes owned. This “breaking in” of fabric is time consuming, uncomfortable and may result in blisters. A new direction will feel alien at the onset. It takes some time to declare ownership over any new perception of place. Soon, it will be as if the now has always been, fascinating how this new reality becomes singular so quickly.


Even with this feeling of trepidation, It is important to make every attempt to sit with this discomfort. As the author of my life, I am afforded creative license to rewrite anything I choose. Why wish for a riveting story, when I can write and live into it! Remember, it is not only in moments of joy, exhilaration and passion that good stories emerge. It is also in moments of trepidation, sadness, anxiety or fear when a story becomes intensely meaningful, profoundly moving and beautifully intimate.


Write your own story and enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to edit at will, making adjustments as needed. Find the joy in the process, not the conclusion. Just as with a good book, curl up in a window and find joy in observing the unfolding. If lucky, our stories will have more twists and turns than a great mystery novel. Given the journey I am about to embark on, I am certain mine will.