the night of ten swords

the other night i had a dream... it was very fuzzy, and aspects of it were so completely random even my dream mind had trouble following. there was a great battle building on another world, and i actually knew i had a portal to that world outside my door, open, waiting for me to step through. i had on my armor, my spear in my hand and my healing herbs and magical tools in a pouch at my belt. but no matter how i struggled to get there, other things from my life kept getting in my way.

at one point, an old enemy of mine showed up to pick yet another fight. i was so sick of her, and in such frantic haste to join this battle that i didn't even take her bait. i simply humiliated her into silence. hurrying on, a girl i know from work actually grabbed me by the arm and stopped me, asking me to help her figure out this conundrum she'd put herself in. my house needed repair, the phone kept ringing...

i figured out the meaning, although it took a few days. much as my warrior self knew i belonged out there and that i would make a world of difference, home needed me more immediately. i've been working with the theravada buddhist concept of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path lately. mainly, this whole idea of being with someone, of choosing to remain vulnerable and trust even when my instinct and experience are screaming at me to protect myself as viciously as i possibly can, is creating so much dissonance inside i can't hear the Divine Wow anymore.

cutting between what i want, what i need, and what i'm actually receiving is a vast canyon as wide as grief and as deep as despair. i've been approaching this by trying to build a bridge so i may cross over to what i want and need. when that didn't work, i tried flying over the canyon. i even tried the whole rocket-jetpack-and-roller-skates contraption that Wile E. Coyote did in that one episode.

i finally had to admit giving up what i wanted and needed, giving up the frustration and hurt, was what i needed to do. but instead of simply dying inside, like i could feel happening, i decided to gather up my fraying courage and hike down into the canyon with nothing but a canteen and a pair of comfortable shoes. perhaps i would find there the reason my needs weren't being met, my voice wasn't being heard, and my heart wasn't being cherished.

the past few months there have been a lot of similarities between my situations with *m* and greggo. both men were less than stellar when it came to hearing me, or even caring about my needs. they'd made up their minds about me, and no amount of explaining and pleading would get them to understand. i just didn't know how to get them to understand, but i knew that the moment they did, this whole problem would go away.

compassion, however, demanded i stop trying for a while and do nothing but pay respect and strive to understand them. the frustration was becoming unbearable, however. this is where the eightfold path came into play, meditating on slowly letting go of my wants until i had none where those men were concerned. it wasn't until that moment i was able to see exactly where my pain was, and why it hurt. and it wasn't until then that i was actually able to accurately articulate what it was i needed.

it was remarkable, however, once i understood these things, how strong was my desire to simply offer them up to the two men as a gift, and simply bow and say, "as you wish." for the last week, i'd been telling *m* "as you wish," but i was channeling the broken spirit of big *c*'s wife, not the compassionate love and tricky Funk of the Multiversal Jiggy Snake.

i'm not entirely sure, but i think greggo and i might actually have negotiated peace. right now, however, with the smoke still stinging my eyes and my heart still in bruised pieces, i don't know if it's a peace treaty, or simply two generals so devastated by such spiritual brutality we're pleading for it to just stop and who the fuck cares who wins. like i told *m* in the car yesterday, i just feel tired...and defeated.

tackling the problem with *m* was a little more difficult. i had to tell him i had something i wanted to share with him, but i was afraid to because of how poorly he'd received my words before. i asked for him to promise he would show empathy, and to squash any defensive urges that might come up before i would say any more. just getting to that point was a minor struggle in itself and filled with every single communication problem we've had for the past few months. i almost broke down right there and gave up.

at one point, i even lamented that using statements like "i feel," and "to me, it seems like," did nothing for us because he jumped to the defensive all the same. he grew frustrated and exasperated whenever i bowed and said, "as you wish." he didn't like when i was unhappy, but he didn't like me to hide it, either. i had actually begun to feel it die inside, hope and faith, like it had in the House of Oppression and again with my marriage. but this time my body was reacting like it'd been poisoned. i was just too out of practice for the knowledge and sensation of spiritual suicide to be tolerable anymore.

Delena of the Funkywild would never tolerate this, i remember thinking to myself the other night in bed as i listened to *m* fall asleep oblivious to another one of my pleas for simple physical contact. i was crying myself to sleep yet again. she never would, i said to myself. she would jump out of bed, flip on the light, and demand to be heard. she would demand it and not even give him time to let his eyes adjust to the sudden light flooding the room.

and i could see it, too. i could see Delena of the Funkywild springing up and throwing the switch, towering over *m*'s befuddled and sleepy form, demanding to be heard and refusing to let any of us sleep until i had said my peace and regained my Self's balance. i could see her, and she was wonderful. but at that moment, she was not me, and i closed my eyes and pushed those tears back down again.

i fell asleep with heartburn. with heartburn.

i told him none of that, however, sitting on the couch monday morning. but i did lay it out for him. i told him i needed compassion, that i needed to be touched and loved. there are bigger things out there, i told him, and while he didn't have the ability to step back and see the larger picture and how issues and events are related and translate to a larger Theme or Concept, i could. he, however, could get down to the straight details, of facts and black and white. together, if we put our abilities together we would be phenominal. but i needed him to stop being the cop and start being my lover. i'd been respectful and given him all the space he wanted, and i can go without as much contact as i need, but i desperately needed more than he was giving. and the sense of his rejection was killing me. the fact he wouldn't hear me, the fact he would say, "well, that just isn't me," by way of a reason --or excuse-- was a poison arrow in my heart.

my eyes were filled with tears and a couple had found their way down my face --which is really crying for me-- and i let him see. i don't think he'll ever know how large a demonstration of trust that was --letting him see my crying face-- but i gave it to him nonetheless.

strangely, however, i don't feel victorious. i don't feel good about myself at all. this isn't the time for a pat on the back, or anything else like that. i'm at that moment right after slaying the hydra, in the silence following the last echoes of its massive corpse hitting the ground with a thunderous crash, the roars of all its deadly heads echoing in memory. in the silence of disbelief and desperation, when you hold your breath waiting for the hydra to rise because it's just impossible to believe it might really be dead, and your muscles burn and tremble with exhaustion and every bone-weary breath is a thousand needles scraping your lungs, when you are too spent for thought and even passion and will are drained to the knife edge of despair...

...in that worn and trembling silence when hoping is too much...

...that is where i am. the beast is slain. the insecurity, the misery, the hopelessness, the bruised and wrenching heart, the grief. it's all slain. but right now i'm simply too tired to pick up the Funk and hope.

the ten of swords has been swimming in my dreams lately, too. she might have fought bravely, tirelessly, and with the mad fire of the goddess-inspired. she might have fought so gloriously her defeated foes even honored her with their swords as tribute. but right now, though the battle is over and the dawn shortly follows, for now there is only rest.


Az said...

You've probably heard this before but...You really need to lay all your cards out asap. Nip it in the bud as they say. Let your feelings, your wants and desires be known immediately. The longer you hold back the worst things become and then the resentment builds on both ends. By then it's almost always too late for either party to find happiness together again. If this man truly loves you, he'll listen...really listen, and hopefully come to understand.

Greggo said...

one general to another, i'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Yup, what az said.

You need to spell it out.
It's the only way they "get it"
Men are dumb. Either throw rocks at them or TELL them...don't show them...they never get it.
much love & peace