There was this day late in August of 2013.
I was 12 hours out of the hospital with a serious back and neck injury. I had an important appointment with the 80th lawyer. (Who probably asked to see me because she needed extra spending money. For sure, it wasn’t because she had anything concrete to offer in the way of pertinent legal advice.) And, the man I loved made a big offer (PETAL 1):
“I’m going to pick you up and take you to the appointment.”
Twenty minutes after I needed to be picked up (a brace around my back and a medicinal brace around my neck), I heard the sound of a Vespa (PETAL 2). I remember thinking, “no way” and reality bitch-slapping me, “yes, way” when a little blue speed demon came around the corner.
Twenty minutes after having a helmet shoved on my head to “protect me” (PETAL 3), I was sitting in the lawyer’s office talking about her brilliant ideas – I either betray the man I love or publicly humiliate myself (PETAL 4). I knew I would chose the later, but…really? I think I popped a pain pill.
Forty-five minutes after that disaster, I was crying too hard to have the man I loved see me. His SMSs “I need to get to my meeting, are you done yet?” etc. went unanswered until I got myself under control. Bearing in mind: 12 hours out of the hospital, intense physical pain, exhausted, etc.
There was no helpful suggestion from the lawyer. No help from the man I loved. No help from God. No one heard me. I walked out of the door, having sent an SMS “I’m ready now” and saw something on the building in front of me:
Post Tenebras, Lux.
But, there was no light after that darkness. That darkness was followed by more darkness.
I think it goes to a simple point and that’s in this poem I’m attaching below called “Just a Petal.” We are born with this tiny seed. It’s given to us by “whatever” made us. It’s the pure version of us, you know? The one that doesn’t know how to spell, smell, or identify what a “gun” is.
We forget about this. Time goes on and we pile a lot of stuff on that core (it’s “Kern” in German) part of us.
I think it’s important NOT to forget and I think it’s important to place a finger on that “Kern” and identify it. Remember who you are.
Otherwise, riding a Vespa with a back & neck injury or paying 500CHF to be told nothing by a person who doesn’t care about your future might seem “good enough.” When, those things are actually…just petals.
Just a Petal
Once upon a time feels a long way away.
Did it happen for real, did I actually say?
“Granddaddy, I dream of a day when I’ll settle
for a man carrying, not a rose, just a petal.
He’ll be ‘not that bad,’ he might ‘like’ me a lot
The petal’s not much, but it’s all that he’s got.
He doesn’t hit me or cheat, not so much anyway.”
Once upon a time? Feels a long way away.
“No,” Granddaddy’d scold, “it’s not right what you say.
There’s much more you deserve, settling’s not the way.
Just hear it from my side, and see what I see.
‘Cause here’s what I see, what your future should be.
For you, I dream of a man who will be a real man.
Needn’t head for the hills, running fast as he can
if trouble draws near, hanging above like a cloud.
By your side, he will be, and he’ll always be proud-
he is yours, you are his, there is no end in sight.
There’s someone to hold, if you’re scared late at night.
My dream is better than yours is, I see it so clear.
Where did your dreams all go wrong? How’d you find yourself here?”
True, when did I start to settle…for only a petal?
Who says the minimum’s okay? Fidelity gets a medal?
We might see each other if he manages ‘some time?’
Do I feel butterflies, as I hover over my bottom line?
Is this my Prince Charming? Someone moving like a fish
quickly in and out of my life, no intention to commit?
“I don’t remember what it feels like,” I say, though he knows,
“to be special enough to deserve the whole rose.”
“Go back to your dreams, Granddotta – Remember who you are.
You deserve more than a petal –You’re your Granddaddy’s star.”
Laura Anne Ayres, 2014