Too Much Said

 Now fold your arms, and bow your head. And listen, while the prayer is said.

~ from my childhood

 

Stop.

Look.

Listen.

I learned them well as a child

growing up on concrete and asphalt;

backdrop of mountains and trees.

 

Sitting in Sunday school,

arms folded and legs crossed,

I mastered obedience

instead of boundaries.

When asked, I answered –

simple as that.

 

There’s a certain Stepford chasteness

in carefully following directions.

At the same time, innocence

is crushed when deference

to The Law produces parrots

instead of persons.

 

Squawk! Now you see me.

Turn away and you don’t.

 

If I couldn’t capture my reflection

in the ocean of your eyes,

I was lost.

Only later did I realize the futility

in unquestioning compliance.

Only later did I comprehend

circumspection; the ability

to rein in the tongue.

 

Too often have I given away

bits of essence to care-less ones.

Too many times have I shared far too much,

spawning boundless regret.

25 comments on “Too Much Said”

  1. yes .. I have walked along that path once or twice. It makes me wonder who I thought was listening or watching me and .. was it them that I played my part for? I need to keep believing that the lessons I learned are valuable enough to make up for the loss of my blooming time.

    • Margaret, I’ve got to believe that losing my childhood resulted in very rapid growth as an adult and as a soul. By ‘rapid,’ I mean I’ve learned it over decades, but I’ve LEARNED it. Thus, I can pass it on to others, for which I am grateful. Thanks so much for taking time to comment! xoB

  2. Beautifully expressed. Thank you for this.

  3. Thank you!

  4. I especially liked the part about reflecting in the ocean –
    I can relate. – and then to find it anyway is quite a journey.
    Blessings –
    Laurie

    • Well, in Jungian psychology (my background), we ideally receive “mirroring” from our parents. When this fails to happen, we look for it where we can find it, I guess. And eventually discover it was all within ourselves anyway, if we are lucky. And I consider myself extremely fortunate. Thanks so much for your comments, Laurie! Always happy to see you here.

      • I feel so lucky too. And so I am continuing
        on..This is so interesting with my eating didorder history and reaching back to others.
        Thank you for your words.
        Blessings –
        Laurie

      • Well Laurie, not sure I knew about an eating disorder. My family is full of that history. Marion Woodman in her book Conscious Femininity speaks of these disorders as mothering issues. So interesting.

        Glad you’re striving to have the best life you can, helping others along the way.

        Blessings back atcha!
        B

      • Thanks. Yes I would say the mirror thing fits here.
        Thanks do much for the notes 🙂

  5. What? I lived on cement and asphalt. Loving your reflect ness but surprised it was so dreadful!

    • What? It sounds like city living was dreadful? 😉 Yes, it was, for me. But being raised in the foothills of the mountains certainly made it bearable. I have never felt at home in any city. I’m a country girl, through and through. I thought my life was over the day they put the golf course in and I couldn’t hike down to my favorite eucalyptus grove by a stream. It was as if a part of me truly died at that point. But I was a child! And so, on we go. I’ve been extremely blessed to live anywhere I have chosen since I had my say (after graduating high school). I loved living in the Maine woods, on the Hawaiian islands, and in the high desert of New Mexico. How lucky I am!

  6. I obviously did not know what happened in your childhood. I am sorry…beautiful writing bela…makes me think.

    • Aloha, Reb: I don’t think any of us knows another, do we? It’s not something I reflect on with bitterness or horror. I just reflect in order to learn. Thanks for commenting!

  7. So wonderful you can do that without painful memories… Me not so. h…I don’t want to remember the past.

  8. Your words that “deference to the law produces parrots instead of people” rang so true, my whole childhood came crashing down with those words. I was such a “good child.” When my mother’s friends referred to me that way what they really meant was I was so quiet and unintrusive. Did i exist? Not yet. Not then. But boy; they should see me now!

    • Ronnie, somehow I knew you and I had a bit in common 😉 It’s great you discovered your voice, as did many of us. So important, and even more so, I think, in order to pass that freedom on to our daughters, if we had them (I did, twice).

      Aloha, dear, and thanks for your comments!

  9. As, always beautiful writings. Thanks for sharing.

  10. lovely, Bela, truly lovely.

  11. I love when you put the reality out there with such simplicity. And so true when you said making parrots instead of persons.. couldn’t agree more and pray that it changes soon 🙂

    • Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Kavita. I appreciate it.
      It’s been many, many years since I was a ‘parrot,’ and this is why I can look back on it and wax lyrical.
      Thank the gods for reflection and solitude!
      Blessings,
      Bela


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