(Cool picture, right. My cheap cellphone's camera made the lights bleed together creating this ghostly otherworldly appearance.)
Lately, my goal is to be as honest with myself as I possibly can, and honest with what I share. I'm sure this is not my thought alone, since Michelle Obama expressed something similarly or along those lines when she stated, "People can sniff out authenticity." What I write and record about my experiences with taking care of my aging parent is teaching me so much. It is allowing me to illuminate something for a generation of folks who are not quite at this place yet, and it is allowing me to recognize those people who have been here much longer than I have who are recognizing in me how new I am to all of this. It is teaching me too to embrace it all and all of its effects on me. That the truth of it connects me in a way I am more interested in. The truthful connection paves way for me to form new connections with people I have connected with in the past and even new people (some of whom I never ever would've imagined myself connecting with). It is allowing me too to live in a space of humbleness. I don't know the answers. I am a novice. I am tired as hell. And this shit is aging the f**! out of me. And it has given strength to the creative within me, and given that creative an authentic outlet. So all of this encourages me to bravely share it. I literally began this as a therapuetic exercise something I learned in my late 20's when I found myself in my year of anxiety and panic attacks. It turned out writing was a way to gain control of my panicked and anxious thoughts, slowing my heart rate, and deepening my breathing. Then, I used to always walk around with a pocket journal to frantically write in until I calmed down. I am sure what I wrote was a bunch of gibberish, but that gibberish kept me from losing it.
Today I am encouraged to continue to share my experiences because I am learning how connected many of us are as we navigate through this mystery called life. And oddly that connection has calmed me and comforted me. I am encouraged too by friends who thankfully encourage me to keep bravely sharing my experiences. I am also encouraged by the release I experience when I put the next experience out there. It's like that lesson in Proverbs: a word and a stone once launced cannot be reclaimed. Writing this or even recording this somewhat launches it from my being. But I've grown to notice that it's only launced if I am fully truthful.
Today's title was inspired by the title of Dan Brown's book, Angels and Demons. As a writer, I have been contemplating where these entities live, truly live. As a creative, I am beginning to believe they have always existed right inside each of us. That we are the angels and we are the demons. That there is light within us, as well as the deepest darkness.
Some days, in some dealings with my mom, a hot rage boils up so quickly that I become aware, or am reminded of that darkness within me; that it is not dormant or sleeping but fully awake, fully alert, fully watchful, fully involved in my life. I like to think that that is not the case, but in those moments of hot anger I see that that is exactly the case. And it knowingly laughs at me. It doesn't give a shit that I see it, that I recognize it. Actually, it wants me to see it, to get to know it, to invite it to be a bigger part of my life. Creepy, huh? Yeah, I'm a writer of dark stories (not all dark) but, yeah, there are some dark ones.
I've been searching within me what to share next. I made two short videos. My new phone has quickly run out of space forcing me to make videos less than 3 minutes long. I made one video, but was livid the day after and on a walk with a friend after work, I found myself sharing something I had begun to recognize about me and acknowledge about my mom. My friend encouraged me to share this story. It's not all that dark. It's just me being honest with me, which I am learning weakens that darkness.
It's a rather sensitive one for me. But I am learning that these sensitive things that feel so personal and isolating are not so special or unfamiliar or isolating or unique. In fact, what all of this is teaching me is that we're more alike than we are different. So, I bravely release this truth that I may begin to heal from it.
I'm just writing to keep from losing it.