keep art alive; art by georgia winchester
My lifelong trick, which has taken a lifelong time to perfect, is the ability to appear completely cracked open, when I am actually a locked box of a secret self. They say that surviving a childhood of abuse, both emotional and sexual, causes one to be able to shut down completely, to go numb, to enlist iron gates to keep anyone from truly coming in.
For me, it was the construction of an intricate hall of mirrors, labyrinth mazes, and bricked-up walls around inner rooms that has helped me to keep living, and which helps to keep up the façade of me.
Some days I feel as if I have broken down these walls. Some nights I feel as if I am allowing myself to truly be touched, seen, heard and understood. Sometimes, though, I am not all-together sure that I can traverse the maze of my insides. The keys were lost so long ago, the vines have grown up and over everything, and at some point I took in some kind of potion to forget.
Or is it the trappings of age that cause me to not remember some pathways, and combination locks?
I do try to open up, though. In my writing sometimes there are clearer glimpses than in my conversations. Other times it is within the contents of a song, or within the silences between the words I say, that you can see who I truly am. As I learn to heal, slowly but surely, I shake down the walls one brick at a time, and pull out the weeds as I go along the pathways. And, I try to remember to keep breathing.
Shake It Out (live) :: Florence and the Machine