Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Metaphor

A bromiliad is growing in a large cobalt blue footed pot on my dining room table. The plant is a lovely yellow-with-orange-edges petaled thing and looks a bit alien by many standards. Some people wonder if it's real, others wonder if it's indigenous to Georgia, and still others just wonder why I don't have a nice bunch of cut flowers in a vase like everyone else.

To this I say "because my centerpiece is living and growing, not cut and dying". I think I've had enough death this year already.

I don't even notice my plant much anymore, where before I memorized the colors fading one into another every single day. I used to turn it this way and that to optimize its exposure to sun. Now I just make sure it is still green with a large flower shooting out its center and still watered enough to be happy.

It's a sad metaphor for much of my life. With mourning comes the numbness that carries me from one moment to the next, not really noticing the details, but allowing me enough energy and attention to meet the essential needs of my family. Sometimes I even take a moment to genuinely lose myself in my kids' smiles, returning their unconditional love unconditionally. Sometimes I actually have fun. These moments are unexpected and as spontaneous as is the recurring numbness.

The sad thing is that I am not sad for myself. That's also the odd thing. Perhaps it's stress, perhaps it's an overwhelming sense of taking on too much responsibility that bychance I don't have to take all of, but mostly it's a refusal to mourn, as though I have no time for it. And to insure I have no time for it, I keep myself busy by taking on too much responsibility.

I'm about one step away from volunteering at the hospital.

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