The one where I hear a heartbeat…

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I just got back from cleaning out the den in the house my wife and I shared. She left a year ago and inside that room is the sum total of our life together she did not pick through to start anew. I’ve moved to a new city and have a crappy little apartment I need to fill. I needed winter clothes and blankets so I went back with my girlfriend. Another ex- was there (renting the place with some good friends) and without the support of the two of them, I never could have done it.
 
Inside was wedding videos, and the saved accoutrements of that day. I have the silver chalice from which my ex-wife and I drank to our undying love. The teddy bear sent to us to celebrate the birth of our child that would not live to be born. Burned hopes and dead dreams like the tomb of a life that would never happen. I found old poems I had written to her and anniversary cards she had scribbled to me. Echoes of a love that is gone. I packed up what I needed, sifting through these artifacts like a bones from a long dead civilization.
 
I wept. A lot.
 
But, in the end, I have started to heal. Not just manage. Not just shove it aside into a nightmare box to unspool in my head when I go to sleep. I have started to heal. To accept myself and move beyond being a crippled little thing.
I have found my strength again.
More importantly, I have found my weaknesses. I am starting to become a more complete person. I don’t know if it was on purpose or accidental. I am not sure that matters. In the end I am starting to fix the things inside of me that hold me back without sacrificing the things that are good but cause me to look at ugly truths and move forward.
I hope the same for everyone.
Because pain is not the end. It is not an end unto itself, but it is a beginning. A good sign that better things are coming.
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The one where I admit I’m taking my own advice…

We‘re all in the same game, just different levels. Dealing with the same hell, just different devils. — attributed to many.
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I keep finding broken hearts looking for help. I find I have advice to give them.
More than that I find the advice I have for them is the advice I need.
And I hope, the advice others need.
Because none of us are in this life alone. None of us get out of it alive.
Giving each other comfort is the least we can do.
 
First, stop being noble. Cry. Honestly cry. Cry, wail, and weep. Be sad. Being sad at the loss of love is normal. It is ok. It is HEALTHY. It is Ok to be sad. Let it out and let the peace that comes after be yours. You must let go of those hopes, dreams and plans that will never happen with those that have decided to leave. You can’t make them stay and that is OK. But you have to mourn their loss so you are left with the worthy and loving person that is left: You.
 
Next, do what you have done for everyone else your whole life: forgiveness. Take honest stock in your flaws, and forgive yourself for them. Physical, Mental, Emotional. Look at all the things you think are wrong with you and forgive yourself for them. Stop punishing yourself for them. Accept yourself and be at peace with who you are. From here you can look upon yourself and realize what are honest flaws that you need to work on, and what are quirks that make you vulnerable.
 
Being vulnerable can leave you open to be hurt, but it is no flaw. Having an open heart takes strength. And never confuse pain with weakness. A giant may carry a castle up a mountain and it may cause great fatigue and even pain, but none would doubt its strength.
 
Once you give yourself the forgiveness you bestow on others you can start on the process of changing what you really don’t like about yourself. Give yourself priority. Working out, taking up hobbies, traveling where you want. Going to the theater (live or screen) not to share the experience but because YOU enjoy it. In short: date yourself. Show yourself the love you bestow on others.
 
It starts with forgiveness. Of turning your most powerful heart upon yourself and giving yourself the attention, respect, and even some slack that you bestow upon everyone else.
 
Next is fear. You must address your fears, identify them and overcome them. Not of spiders or the dark, but of abandonment, loneliness, of self worth, and even commitment. Find them. Identify them. Know they are there and how they make you react to given situations. Work to understand them and pry their ghostly fingers from your heart. You can overcome them, but you must know their names to do it.
 
Next is friends. You have them. Bring them close. Rely on them. Communicate with them. Celebrate with them. You are never a burden. You are their friend. Stop being paralyzed and isolated by fear and guilt. If your friends are unworthy, then find ones that are.
 
Friends, lovers, and mates are people. To find them you must go to where they are. You will not find them alone in the dark. Walk to where there is light and laughter. If you want someone who shares your interests, do things you are interested in. Cooking classes, Meetup.org groups, local festivals are all places that may have activities that speak to you. It is something you enjoy, allowing you to love yourself, allows you to meet with friends, gaining support, and provide you with a venue to meet someone who will love you for the amazing person you are.
 
You are a beautiful woman. Once you learn to be comfortable in your own skin, to WANT someone instead of NEED, you will be more than beautiful. You will glow. You will shine like a sun. You will attract someone who is worthy of you, and have the strength and judgement to turn away those who are unworthy.
 
More than that I haven’t figured it out yet.
I found the road. I can guide you to it, but I’m only a few steps further down it than you are. Stumbling, faint of heart, but still walking upright. And when I have to, I crawl.

The one where I go back to my roots

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Not mine, but it speaks to me. Much respect to the artist.

I started writing as a poet. A bad one. Yeah, I’m sure that’s a surprise to everyone.

Pimply, round. Lonely. I could only express myself through words packed like a fist from the mouth of a volcano. On paper.

I have gone through a divorce, as clean and fast as anyone I have ever heard of. The emotional cost, however, has been vast. It has taken a toll on my creative side. Every time I get to something emotional, something real, I shy away like an animal faced with fire.

My health is improving and now the emotional rebuilding has begun. My temper has been bad as of late. Adversity is no longer a mountain to be overcome, but a punishment from a fickle and uncaring god. I can’t live like that, and that means a change. I can only hope those around me will cut me slack when I need it and be hard on me when it is called for. I have also decided to go back to the beginning.

I need to start writing. For my sanity, for my future, and for my… To have a purpose again.

So, back to the beginning. Bad poetry stuttered out from an embarrassed pen.

And by that road, I will get back to where I need to be.

 

It Survives

I am told that my love is water.

And I worry.

For water, tempestuous and tossed,

It swallows and it storms.

And shatters the heavens with electric fangs.

It uses knives made of its own body

to carve stone from the mountain face.

And to rush down valleys sweeping everything from its path.

The voice inside me, it knows these truths

And it burns with the cold of a thousand fathoms

Feels the pressure of merciless depths of my passion

And I wonder who will plumb me.

To know me even where the brightest sun cannot see

But who would want to,

And who would dare

To swim in the uncounted

unknowable

depths

Where the brightest sun cannot see.

But then I remember that the sun does shine

And it dances on the surface of my adoration

like angels at play.

And though it can rage, it can also heal,

Falling gently on living things

Bringing life to the moonscape

and health to the wilting.

It can fulfill any vessel,

And quench any thirst

Brave enough to press lips to sip

And it may be frozen

Locked in prison for millennia

it may be buried in the shifting sands,

too far for mortal hands to reveal

But though it be boiled on desert rocks

Or tossed into the sky on thousand foot drops

It may be smashed into vapor, trod into dirt,

It may be beaten and left and forgotten

But my love is water

and it will sneak into the sky

And form dragons and wolves and lions

It may turn black and threaten

It may scatter the sunlight into beautiful spectrums

But it never dies

And it never fails

It cannot be destroyed

For it is my love.

And it always, always survives.

Even where the brightest sun cannot see.

The one that admits it is over, now that it is over, but at least it is over…

My wife and I  spent seven years madly in love. The problem is we were married ten years. It turns out that the last three years I was the only one madly in love.

She sat down with me sixty days ago and said she was not in love with me anymore. She was leaving me. It was over. She was unwilling to try to save what we had, unwilling to even talk about it except for a few hours where she spared me some moments. It was over.

I think I’m telling you this partially to get things straight in my head. Partially it’s my exhibitionist nature. Mostly I think this is the next step.

Sixty days is probably the world record for dismantling a life together. Suddenly I will never hold her, or kiss her. I will never be inside her again. I am not going to ever cry on her shoulder, or feel her tears on my cheek as I comfort her from some horrible tragedy. All this, I have lost.

It is Halloween, and she will be here in a few hours to collect the last of her stuff. I woke up and looked in the mirror, and have hated what I have seen for sixty days now. But she just now left with the last load. She and her brother have returned their keys. They are moving out together, and they are never coming back. They talked while moving stuff. They joked. They sounded so… happy.

Even at the last moment she would rather leave in silence, seeing me in pain, than offer even a moment’s comfort or a kind word.

But now I know.
I know it wasn’t I who stopped caring. It wasn’t I who focused more on myself than my partner. It wasn’t I who pulled away.
It is not my fault that she has left. It does not speak to my character that I wasn’t worth fighting to save.
In the end, I was a toy she had grown tired of, and because I could not be returned, resold, or trashed, she simply abandoned me.

I have discovered a secret: Love is given, and never received.
You may love, but understand it begins and ends with you. You can love deeply, madly, and wholly, but it does not effect the other person even a little. For what you show is not love. What you show is what is best in all Men. You show tenderness, and kindness, caring, forgiving, and mercy. Those are the gifts that reach past your own skin. What you feel is love, but these are what you do.

And by showing none of these, becoming distant, then cold, then mean, she has shown more than any proof created by scientists, lawyers or priests, that she does not love me. And because of that, I am crying, not for her, but for me.

And that’s OK, too. But what I do not need is tears. What I need is companionship. I need to remember that people can be forthright and relied upon. Hard lessons to remember, right now.

But the most important thing I realized is: Now I move on, because she cannot hurt me ever again unless I let her.

the one from the ground zero of my life

Ok, what those of you who follow me (as me) on facebook probably know and those that follow me (the author) do not is that my life has become interesting lately. The Chinese interesting. The one they curse you with.

My wife has decided she does not love me anymore, and nothing I have done has dissuaded her.

So she is leaving. I am still without a job, so paying my bills is now impossible alone. I need to figure out how to get some roommates fast that will not chop me up and leave me in a trunk somewhere.

This has blown my inner muse into confetti, meaning I have not gotten a decent wordcount in over a month, leading to all that brings: nightmares, insomnia, and weight loss (yay!) that was mostly muscle (boo!)
Now my publisher, which has had in reserve the sequel to my personal best seller is going through some restructuring and thus has delayed the only chance to get money flowing soon.

Also the S key seems to be failing on my only computer.
So.. I am living in interesting times.

It’s been a few weeks and I’m cried out. I’m panicked out.
I started by reviewing the file of Fox Crow II: The Opus Discordia.

I punched up the crow-isms and added some detail. Also found something I have to apologize for… but that’s another post.
But here is a post to let people know I have not given up. I’m getting back in the saddle.
Doing work, submitting work, planning for the future, releasing short stories, and getting things nailed down so I can FINALLY tell everyone when FCII:OD is coming…

So, I am wounded, but alive and kicking.