Monday, March 10, 2008

Sarah's prompt: I left it behind

In the beginning it had been everything I’d wanted. Safe and secure, not fashionable perhaps, but it provided what I had longed for all my life. Dependable, enduring, at the time looking from the outside perhaps, a bit stodgy but I had wanted, no needed it. In a life of flitting and inconsistencies it filled the bill.
As time went by, like a pair of comfortable shoes, a soft warm cardigan or those favorite jeans, it was something easy to slip into, sheltered from the stormy battles of life. It was a soothing place, that certain chair, where, with a blanket and a hot cup of tea you could rest secure.
Then, one day, the bottom seemed to give way a bit. No longer comfortable it seemed to hold too tightly, dragging me down. The softness of it all, like too many cushions, began to feel suffocating.
The tedium of it all began to wear on me like a loud clock in a quiet hall. The days and nights began to drag on interminably, drawing the life out of me. The sameness and the cloying of it hung on me like the smell of mothballs. I saw the light beginning to fade as it crept in upon me, aging me.
I was helpless to fight it at first. It was where I was supposed to be, I reasoned. It had been my choice. But like the nagging of a creaking chair in the corner of the room, it haunted my days and nights. I saw the greyness and darkness beginning to enshroud the edges and I made a choice. I began to fight back in little ways. Careful not to upset the balance of things, flowers on the table, brighter music on the radio.
Uncomfortable at first, I began to see signs of that younger self peaking through. Hopes and dreams given up long before, quietly put away, like special toys hidden, at the bottom of closets to be saved for other children. I drew them out and put them back and drew them out again. Putting them on a shelf where I could see them and remind myself of what I had once imagined could be. Foolishness, silliness, I’d think to myself; I’d hear around me. But, those dreams unwilling to be left alone began to call to me. Come and play, it seemed they would say. Leave this other behind. These dreams are not for another. Come and play.
I did, hesitant at first. After all, honestly, it seems there are so many other things I should be tending to. But the dreams became more and more insistent. Finally a choice had to be made and finally like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis that had held her through the long winter, I left it behind. Exchanging reliable and staidess for possibilities.

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