The lilac tree and bushes have blossomed in our yard.
The tree is a particular miracle. We thought it had died when we took over the house. Now its gnarly bark, deep green leaves, and lilac flowers provide a spring sculpture in the garden.
Our whole yard is actually a garden. The birds seem to like it.
I don’t know where I’m going with the blog, or why I started with the lilac tree, so bear with me.
What is weighing on my heart right now is some advice I was given yesterday. I was, a woman told me, my own worst enemy. I was not really warm and fuzzy, she said if I felt passionate about something.
My delivery was the problem, she said.
This came from someone who had either witnessed or heard about (it’s not clear which) the outbursts of rage I had counted on as my homing beacon.
It also came from someone I liked. So I felt like I had to give it some consideration.
In light of what I wrote just two days ago – that rage had been my homing beacon – I could see why she might think that. And because shame seems to be the emotional hangover from rage, I felt ashamed.
I searched inside myself to determine what I felt ashamed of. Had I hurt anyone? Had I harmed anyone? Had I offended anyone?
Then I also remembered that she said, “Sometimes you just need to learn to swallow in this world.”
I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask her, “Swallow what?”
The answer to the questions did I hurt or harm anyone is no. At first I thought I might answer yes – that I had hurt or harmed myself. Then I realized that any harm that came to me came from trying to gain acceptance from a system that requires you to swallow – or as I sometimes put it – eat a shit sandwich and pretend it is chocolate. The harm didn’t come from the anger – it came from wanting blood from a turnip, thinking that it was my fault that the turnip couldn’t give me blood, and then being angry that there was nothing I could do to get blood from that turnip.
That’s what I mean about releasing demons. I learned to let the turnip be a turnip.
As to whether I offended anyone. I probably did. But that was not my intention. I think that sometimes, when you let the turnip be a turnip, it gets offended that you know it doesn’t have any blood to give you. And it doesn’t want to believe that.
It’s complicated because I know I’m the common denominator in a group of women who don’t like me – who really, really, really don’t like me. I have never experienced anything as vicious as what was directed at me by these women.
As I said, I learned what I wanted to be acceptable for, and sought those who found that acceptable.
It feels much better.
Yet, it was very painful yesterday to be told I wasn’t warm and fuzzy. That sounds like I was being mean, and I don’t think I was. I think I was just refusing to accept what was unacceptable for me.
I think that all of us, men and women, need to stop thinking that we have to smile when we eat a shit sandwich and act like its chocolate.
I started writing about the lilac tree to keep from writing about what was weighing on my heart. It didn’t work. It didn’t take me away from the weight.
But I trust that I started with it. Maybe it’s that because I watered it, the lilac tree began to thrive. In the spring, for a very short time, it blossoms and its blossoms have the scent of lilac.
It’s a light scent – lightly sweet.
It is what it is, that lilac tree. Old, gnarly, with blossoms that deliver a lightly sweet scent.
This Morning in my Garden
Howl and your pack will find you. Someone wise and wonderful taught me that. And who wants the turnips anyway? They can’t bleed… or howl.
Yeah, I probably need to remember that wolves don’t eat turnips. Thanks.