The Little One in the form of an Owl...(but don't tell her I said that!)

December 28, 2011

The Day of Reckoning (Part 1)

           I am a coward. I am a heartbroken, confused hermit who tries to revive my social side with periods of frenzied lovemaking to Kla just to desperately burrow further into myself afterward.  Lately I have to literally run away from Kampala, not from shame at the hedonistic activities I’ve participated in, but from fear at the overburdening, groundless, limbo of my life.  It’s all empty space where once there was a mission; even though I had to cut the path myself, scarring my body and heart in the process, at least I thought I was going somewhere, at least I knew which direction to take.

            “Never swiftly lift a constrictor snake from one cage to the other-you will have just put them through an eternity of chaos.”  A Snake Priestess once taught me that and on that day I finally came face to face with my Shadow Animal…and I saw the light. 

            I like the safety of moving purposefully. People think I am graceful; I only just recently revealed that “grace”, as some inherent personality trait, has nothing to do with it.  When I was an adolescent I developed a distinct fear of tripping, stumbling, falling in public places.  To tell the truth, looking back at my environmental circumstances I think I felt my dark skin was shaming enough and sought to reduce any other telltale signs that I should be judged inferior (but that’s for my therapist to figure out, no?) 

The result is I have perfected a technique by which with each step I place on the ground, I unnoticeably, but consciously and often painstakingly align each part of that side of my body to correct and adjust my balance before proceeding to the next step.  Over time this has expanded to not just walking but also how I lift something I’ve dropped on the ground, open my notebook and pick up my pen, lift my sunglasses to my head when walking into a building-all of my movements are done with the same meticulous adherence to balance and timing.  It is true that the habit begun with a fear of public scrutiny and it continues to be the case that when in place I feel…exposed I am more aware of it, but it was my mother who made me notice this when in the house one day folding clothes on the bed, half-dressed and unclean, she saw me reach across the bed to the floor to pick something up and in that time I was thoroughly unconscious of my actions; clearly my body has just acclimated to this state of being, this meticulous adherence to balance and timing.

I do the same with my life.  When moving from vision, to plan, to action, I still try to make each part of my decision mimic my physical movements- trying to stop in the midst of momentum so as to adjust and regain my balance even before anything…apparent has happened.  I tend towards taking tiny baby steps, even when I’m supposed to be swimming; the grace of this habit in movement is simply ironic in life, and that irony turns to tragedy when I lose my footing by a wave or a sudden moment of depth.

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