The past has left it's mark on me, and on those I love. There is no escape from this.
There are times still...when I hide...but I cannot always hide...someday the hiding will stop.
In this life we have choices, more sometimes than we wish.
These choices sometimes have me faltering, all progress halted.
There are days when I find myself hurrying to and fro, I exit a doorway, walk forward two or three steps, realize I have forgotten something, I turn around, go back into the room I just left, but once again, my step falters along with my thoughts, so I turnaround, again take some steps forward, I falter again, I turnaround to retrace my steps, my thoughts flittering here and there, everywhere, then finally, I tell myself to just go.
My life today, is filled with faltering steps, faltering thoughts, turnarounds. All the while I tell myself...to just get on with it...this living of life.
Small choices, big choices, some matter, some don't. Some leave marks, some don't.
There are days when I stop my mind, stop my faltering, stop to take an inner look at the woman I have become.
Looking to the past for answers, I sometimes see myself standing in front of an aged mirror, darkened in spots, a mirror no longer gleaming and bright. There are spots where the silver has flaked off, the frame once gilded is dulled by time. Reflecting back at me in the forefront of the mirror is myself, but there are many other images there as well. So many images. Layer upon layer of images, all leading backward and forward into time.
The woman I see is not always the same. Some days she is beautiful, strong, and wise. Some days, she is old, weak and battered. Some days she is sad, beaten down, wizened. Some days, she is just me, as I am, no more, no less.
All of them are the real me, all of them images of who I have been, who I am now, who I will become. Most importantly, this aged soul-mirror has more reflections held within it than just my own.
It is a mirror out of time, a mirror filled with the women of my past, the women of my now, and the women of my future. These women, their strengths, their weaknesses, their tears, their wisdom, their fears, their laughter, their hugs, their love, most especially their love, strengthen me.
The past's ghostly mirror memories are filled with the spirits, with the love, of the important women in my life.
Far, far back in the distance of time reflected, I sometimes see the abused little girl that once was I, peeking out. There is a misty presence behind the little girl me. In this other time, this far distant time, I see the silhouette of my grandmother, rippling near, every near in a protective stance. Arms of mist surround and pull close the little girl me, enveloping me in the memory of her love. There, just there, in the shadowy light I see her. More often than not, tears are running down through the creases of life lining her face. As I turn my face upward to look upon her much loved face, her tears fall, and mingle with those sliding down my own. Always, always there is love shining from her eyes. Through the years, the long long years, when nowhere was safe, she was.
At other times, I can look upon the young child-woman I was becoming, who felt so alone, so very alone, lost, hiding, always hiding from the evil raining pain down upon her, the evil bruising her soul. Always, always, hoping, wishing, wondering if she would ever be free of the demons filling her world. Feeling, knowing, they never would, after all she deserved no better.
Now, looking into the mirror of the past, I see the presence of my mother trying to protect me. Even when not able to be there physically, she was there, sending tendrils of love toward me, weaving them through and around my soul, protecting in the only way she could at the time. As I gaze into the mirror of the past and of today, I see her torn and tattered, tarnished spirit, yet there are little sparkles alight upon it, there always were, her soul radiates love and hopes and dreams...for me. In the mirror of my past I see my mother floating near, always always our souls are tethered one to the other. As a child, as a teen, I knew she feared for me. The flames of self blame often burn within her, burning for the damage done. For those times she could not offer the protection needed, until...until it was already too late. She simply was not strong enough, she had lived too long in survival mode herself. In my soul mirror, there are times when she hovers, quietly sobbing as her body rocks back and forth, back and forth. She tried, tried in the only way she knew, but it was not enough. She had choices to make. One or all? Which was more important? One child...or the bellies of all of us? The guilt wracks her still...I wish her peace, I send her peace.
The girl child from this past life that fills my mirror, is almost healed, she has forgiven what could be forgiven, has forgotten much to survive, she looks up to this new woman I have become, and loves her, for she loves the girl.
There are layers, built upon layers, of me in this mirror of time, the girl child, the spirited teen woman, the lost young-adult woman, the new mother woman, the faltering, sometimes wise, sometimes confused middle-aged woman I am today. In these many faces of me, I see my sister women; my grandmother, my mother, my sister, my aunts, my daughter. These faces upon faces, faces that blend into one. This face out of and into time, is sometimes creased with heartbreak, wet with tears. This woman is lost, found, searching, yearning, dreaming, kneeling in wonderment, weeping for all that was, for what will never be, and for what will be.
This woman who is me, will never forget her own sins, and will never feel as if self-atonement has been reached, but understanding and acceptance can be, must be, hopefully will be. I have stopped judging her so harshly, and am simply trying to accept her as she is. She is me, I am her. She aches to be accepted, I ache to accept her.
When the day comes, when I have accepted what was, what is, what will be. When my dreams are dreams of peace more often than those of worry and woe. Then there will come a day when I will find that which has been hidden for so long. Some day, some day my heart will open fully once again, or maybe, for the first time, and at that time too, I will open up my soul and I will find the song my soul was made to sing. And I will sing, I will sing the song of my soul.
As I sing, a tree will grow, ever taller, ever stronger, reaching outward with its many branches, branches of protection, healing, love and comfort. For that is the purpose of my soul song.