I’ve been cheating on you.

I’ve been spoon feeding you stories written a couple of years ago in order to buy myself time over these past couple of months. The kind of deep reflection it requires to kick out an insightful post has been derailed by a string of black pearls called holidays. Black pearls because they are my favorites, with their deep graphitic luster and heft – not necessarily the piece de resistance of the masses – but to me the most beautiful and striking, as they nestle against the delicate network of blue veins and translucent skin of a woman’s chest.

Since even the stars have predisposed me to speak a bold truth, I cannot simply write about the holidays, for if I did, you would have sensed my discomfort, even inauthenticity. To force this kind of expression might be fine practice for myself, but when shared with others, it could convey confusion and disconnection. I also would not wish to have tainted your own holiday experience, no matter when or what you celebrate. I sincerely desire as much joy for you as possible; ergo, the reworked stories.

This season’s sad disharmony is not the fault of my favorite festivities, nor is it reflective of deeper childhood wounding. Further, it is not about what I dream of – it is, in fact, not about me at all. It seems beyond my control that this holiday season I am finely attuned to the pulse of the public; to the suffering of those around me. Perhaps because the sweet distraction of my grown daughters lies an ocean away. Or maybe, as Joni Mitchell lilts in Woodstock, “Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the time of man.” No matter the reason, this year my focus is clearly on those who suffer. They seemed to surround me, driving inward my own grief of passings like dry autumn leaves, stragglers wrest from deciduous branches one by final one in the bleak of winter’s grasp.

I would not want you to prickle at my piques of dissatisfaction with the human race during the holidays of all times, when what we most need and desire is elevation out of the dreary depths. After all, headed into the darkest days naturally makes us long for the light. And the light responds, for Solstice transforms what is shortest into a lengthening stride, breaking the spell. Simultaneously we are cast into the mad rush of a Christmas holiday, as breathlessly we strive to muster courage for an upcoming New Year.

It is with exhaustion that many forge into the dreaded or anticipated 2012 like leaning hard into a winter gale. For what choice do we have but to welcome it in, like a stranger from that bitter cold – put feet to the fire and listen with rapt attention as its story unravels before us.

I don’t know what is in store for me or for you – but of this I am certain: change is afoot. And change, though at times daunting, is as welcome as a rare day of deep azure and brilliant winter sunshine, casting joy and unseasonable warmth onto verdant fields and recalcitrant wildlife after weeks of soaking rains.



7 thoughts on “Infidelity

  1. Are you OK?.. It is a beautiful clear cold day here. No dark. ( Though I always wanted black pearl earrings, but alas not for me that kind of expense.) You take care honey. The dark is not really dark, just a lack of light. Light always comes back. Whenever your stories were written does not matter. I am sure only crazy nutters like me bang away on the keyboard, do a quick check for spelling then publish. But this is a personal challenge for me. I need the pressure. Your work is deep and huge and thought provoking. I love it. And am looking forward to the next one. Back to work.. c

    1. Celi, you are such a dear, I truly appreciate your concern and your presence in my life – AND your writing! Never sell yourself short on that score – your “challenge” pays off in spades.

      It was a ‘different’ kind of holiday – but so many suffer seasonal depression around that time, and this year I perhaps witnessed more than my share (whatever that is!). I still felt uplifted – however I understood in a way I hadn’t before just what it must feel like for those afflicted. And yes, the light always does return, and you and I are blessed to know this. Those who suffer from depression truly don’t believe it will return – and my heart goes out to them.

      Still and somewhat selfishly, I hope next year will bring me into physical proximity with my girls, once again – so we can be silly and bake our socks off – watch movies they watched as kids, and generally en-joy the season together! I sure did miss them.

      1. Oh honey, i know what you mean. i travel the world once a year to visit all my children. If I let myself see how much i miss them i would lie on the floor and howl! And aren’t we lucky to know when we are happy too.. c

  2. Didn’t feel like infidelity…
    The suffering are all around us, and for us to feel their pain is to be human, I think. It is the inhumane who turn away, shrug, busy themselves forgetting. I share your reluctance to write about the suffering during the ‘holidays’, for perhaps that is the time we most dream of redeeming ourselves…Oh, I don’t know, I am still working out what all this means. But like you, I love the black pearls best.
    If you don’t mind me writing this here, I loved the imagery of the huli bowl, and I have practised dumping it out every night. Thanks Bela 🙂

    1. VivianLea: thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. Like you, I’m still working things out – it’s why I write about them, as I suspect you do. And I agree, to feel pain is to acknowledge the depths of our humanity.

      Also so very glad you enjoy using the huli bowl image! I’ll have to share that with Kalani 😉

  3. Your words, whether written today or yesterday, are always welcome. They enrich, without exception. So, if you wish to call it infidelity, do. I don’t mind being subjected to it!

    Your focus is a noble one, Bela. May you come out of it with greater depth and compassion.

    A Very Happy New Year.

    1. Aloha Priya! Thanks for your kindness. I guess I titled the piece ‘Infidelity’ kind of tongue-in-cheek, a bit of wry humor to get the post started. I wanted to write SOMETHING fresh – instead of polishing posts I’d written awhile ago. I do like those pieces, but hadn’t practiced spontaneous thought-provoking writing in a few weeks.
      Thanks for appreciating my focus – and yes, I do come out of these times with a greater depth ‘of’ compassion, though if I could learn it any other way, I certainly would be open to it!
      Happy New Year, dear Priya, and may we all enjoy the energy of the Dragon!

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