Posted by: Kate | September 23, 2010

Drift

Picture, if you will, a boat moving along a pond.  It can be any vessel you’d like, from a simple little kayak to a noisy outboard motorboat, as long as it’s big enough to drag a rope down through the water as it goes.

That rope starts off clean, and straight, with no knots or snags.  The boat drifts along, and its passenger – me, alone, because not only am I unable to adequately describe this solitary ride to anyone else,  but I don’t want to.  This ride is scary, and lonely, and sad, and I already feel more than enough guilt at the worry and expense and trouble I have caused to  those around me.

I drift along, without steering, not certain how long this ride will last or where it will place me when it’s over.  I’m not even certain it will ever be over, or how I’ll know if it does end.  I’m able to see where I’ve been, and I have a sense of what is in my immediate future, but the predominant tone is one of passivity and patience.  I’m simply a passenger in my own life, not physically able to steer on my own – and no idea as to where I might want to go, if I could.

This pond is flat and calm on the surface, but it hosts creatures, underwater plants, clumps of trash hidden at the bottom, and long, stringy lily pads on the surface.  The rope, which started off so clean and clear, begins to accumulate detritus: a handful of sodden leaves, which then is large enough to snag onto a forgotten tire, and so on, until the rope’s weight slows the boat’s progress, eventually bringing it to a standstill.

Until that point, I had been able to effectively ignore the rope’s existence.  It has been there all along, and I knew it, but I was able to pretend that it wasn’t very important.  Now, suddenly having to directly face the severity of the situation, I become overwhelmed.  Where did all this mess come from, and how am I supposed to handle it now?  I flail about, and spend some time trying ineffective means to keep puttering along as though I’m not being dragged down by this huge extra weight.  It doesn’t work, and eventually I have to stop everything and clear the rope of debris.  I have to admit that it’s there, and that it requires my attention, and that sometimes it’s simply bigger and stronger than me.

So I take a day or two just to sit and sort out this mess that is dragging me down.  I sleep a lot, and cry a lot, and work my way down the line until the rope is, once again, smooth and uncluttered. I rely on the help of those around me to keep the boat afloat while I sort through these weights and problems.  Eventually, it works.  I’m not sure whether I’m able to clean it off or if the rope breaks and I tie a new one in place, but somehow I’m left in the same boat, drifting through the same pond, with a new, straight, clean rope dragging behind me.

And I start the process over again, wondering how far I’ll drift this time before that rope drags me down again.


It’s rather weak imagery, I know, but this is the best I can do, in an effort to describe my emotional life just lately. Earlier this week I had the kind of snag that caused me to escape to my bed at 6:00 in the evening and stay there until 6:00 the next morning, simply exhausted and overwrought in the face of all life continues to hand me. I wallowed for a bit, and then by last night I was feeling more myself, more human again. So I’ll get back in my boat and start drifting along again, because what other choice is there?

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Responses

  1. Maybe you can’t seem them, but there are lots of boats around you, with lots of people in them to help you when they can. Perhaps they can’t drift WITH you, but they’re right next to you. xoxox

  2. Thinking of you. Lots.

  3. The next time you wonder about your worth, look into your babe’s eyes and see yourself in them. There is no one in existence, on any level of reality, that can be a better mom to that babe than you. So maybe on the surface you’re battered and scarred and limping along, but who cares what’s on the surface anyway? There’s something inside you that’s nurturing your child that you can’t see or feel but is there all the same.

    And I had a friend tell me ages ago that not all of your thoughts require equal amounts of attention…in fact, most of them are flotsam and jettsom. Maybe it’s time for a brain dump.

  4. Oh what Yorkie wrote is excellent. And true.

    Love you and proud you’re in a boat versus under the water!!!

  5. (((HUGS)))
    Words fail me.


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