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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stepping Stones

In recent conversations, and in reflecting on how I have lived my life so far, I have come to see much more clearly, the stepping stones I have found myself on for each chapter as it was written.

I like this picture because it shows the stones becoming smaller and I'm choosing to interpret my movement from bottom to top, from larger to smaller. It certainly does feel that way, that the stones I place my feet on as I move through life are getting smaller and in a way, more tenuous. But instead of making me nervous, I feel more sure-footed, more able to deal with a reduced foothold. As I leave the larger stones, I am more prepared to face the challenge of the ever-decreasing size of my future stones. I am more confident, more self-assured, more 'me'.

Those lovely large stones at the beginning of my journey are a little misleading, as I lived with a fear of slipping off the edge. In my early years, I so desperately wanted the safety, if not the sanctuary, of the middle of those large, flat, stable stones. But more often than not, I found myself on the verge, on the brink of true danger. Constantly nudged backwards towards the unknown. Sometimes it was because there were others who inhabited my stones with me, pushing me into a zone fraught with peril. And later they became demons of my own making, sharing with me the precious space I needed to grow. Overpowering my ability to grow. And there were times, I did topple over into the chasm of true danger. It wasn't always easy, knowing how to reclaim my life. Knowing how to claw back up onto my stepping stone. But I did. Sometimes with shredded, bleeding fingers. Sometimes with a heart torn open and raw.

Now, because the stones are getting smaller, doesn't mean I want to stand alone. It means that the space there on that small stone, will be sufficient for the two of us to share with a powerful intimacy. A closeness, a unity that will sustain and reinforce each other. Space enough for us to stand so very close together. And that's exactly how I want it to be. As Sally so beautifully described it: "skin-to-skin with nothing but love between you...".

I want nothing more than to stand on that final stone there, face-to-face, skin-to-skin with nothing but love between us, with the man who holds my heart, and whose heart I hold. And never before have I felt my heart held so tenderly. Never before have I felt so safe in my vulnerability.

I know he feels the same.


Sunny Delight said...

A beautifully written metaphor my friend to symbolize our journey through the dangers (real and imagined) we oft times face in our lives, the fears that live in our hearts.

Shaky ground it can be when others traverse the path with us, unless it is one who truly wishes to share our path.

Someone who is willing to allow us to carry them if the path becomes too precarious for them, someone who is willing to carry us if the same occurs to us, until we reach that point in which we both find our equilibrium again, standing there as you and Sally so aptly put it, skin to skin, your mutual love your safety net.


Fiona said...

It is, so very important isn't it Sunny, to share that load-bearing. I wouldn't want to always carry it, nor would I always want to be carried. I've learned that being the constant carrier (my role for too long) is as damaging as being constantly carried (what I have tended to offer).

I now have balance, and with that balance a willingness to carry without being seen as the primary load-bearer, and even more importantly, allowing myself to be carried when I need it.

I understand so much more. I understand that I can let go some of my fierce independence, without losing anything of worth to me. And I understand that vulnerability in my partner doesn't mean weakness. It means trust.

Green-Eyed Girl said...

Beautiful analogy, and I admire your ability to move forward, relying on yourself and others. There's room for them on the smallest stone, too.

Matt Kohai said...

You're never truly vulnerable when you're "wearing" someone you love, who loves you back.

Fiona said...

GEG, there's no other direction to go...I notice from your blog that you're a proponent of moving forward too *S*

and Matt, that's true...and he and I do 'wear' each other so well ;)

chele said...

Lovely way to look at things.

freebird said...

Brilliant, Fi, as ever.


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