Secrets and Compassion

I guess I have to end this month with a cryptic blog post. I usually like to be as clear as possible but this time it’s just not possible.

Some of my friends will know what I am referring to here. If you don’t, you will have to guess about the details, because there are other people’s secrets that I don’t want to disclose. Things I’ve discovered only recently.

Much of it “gelled” for me in month of March, which has been an amazing time for me. I can truly say that it has been a totally unexpected lesson about love and the mysteries of the human mind. And it has brought me to a significant revision of what I thought I knew about certain aspects of my own “story”. Almost too late, but not quite 🙂

There’s a reason I wasn’t able to learn this earlier, but it’s not the reason I had imagined. It involves more fear and sadness than the arrogance I had believed was at its core; it’s a kinder, gentler and more vulnerable story and it resonates with me in a way I didn’t expect. It’s really about a person trying to get by, doing the best she could with what she had.

How deep can a secret be? How much can one brain hide from itself? Why would someone need to hide something so completely? No one on the outside can know for sure but I now look at a particular person and realize that I might not have been that different had my circumstances been the same as hers.

Marshall Rosenberg says:
“Everything we do is in service of our needs. When this one concept is applied to our view of others, we’ll see that we have no real enemies, that what others do to us is the best possible thing they know to do to get their needs met.”

I brought white tulips as a white flag. Later I found myself bringing books, art supplies, candy, pictures and daffodils.

The Birth of Venus


The next piece of art I created myself (a glass on glass mosaic) was based on Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” although I didn’t see the connection until after the work was complete. The morning after I finished the piece, I looked at it with fresh eyes and realized what I’d done. Not a copy but definitely a tribute. I gave its its rightful name and acknowledged that although the original work that inspired me is still my favourite historical painting, it doesn’t apply to me any more and never had. It was never true that I’d been blown in from the sea, fully-formed.

Who knew?

I look in the face of dementia and imagine my own mind slipping away — what will I remember when that time comes? what will I forget? What skills will I draw on to make everything appear socially normal when the foundation is actually crumbling? I doubt I’d have the charm and grace to carry it, but who knows. Perhaps it *is* there in my DNA. Is there any degree of choice in this?

As for right now, I hope I have found (and can maintain) the right balance as I proceed on this adventure.

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