Learning to See

Learning to See

The Bravest – grope a little -And sometimes hit a Tree/Directly in the Forehead -/But as they learn to see -/Either the Darkness alters -/Or something in the sight/Adjusts itself to Midnight -/And Life steps almost straight.

These words from American poet Emily Dickinson are just a few of the so many that resonate with me.

I often wonder when she began to see that living in relative seclusion was going to be her way. I wonder when the tree hit her directly in the forehead?

I have been receiving some awfully powerful messages lately. Really good ones. Part of their power comes from their clarity. The other part comes from what I am doing when the tree hits.

Have you ever watched The Ghost Whisperer, a series that ran for 5 years in the early 2000’s? The very beautiful lead had the power to see and communicate with ghosts, often putting them to rest so they could live peacefully in a new world. I know, it has Melissa written all over it. It does. When her true soul mate died in the series, our protagonist, Melinda Gordon, couldn’t communicate with him for several shows until another crisis occurred. And boom! There he was, ready for a “conflab”.

She hit her head on a tree, figuratively speaking.

So, back to these powerful messages. One was through song, of course. Jewel’s “I’m Sensitive” came through on my Facebook feed one stormy morning. As I listened to it it I thought of Pat, and how if we had been listening to this together at that moment, he would say, that’s you, and I want you to stay that way. Boom! A morning conflab!

Another one came in the form of art: a beautifully soft picture of a woman climbing a ladder to polish the stars. It so reminded me of me… climbing a ladder to at least meet Pat halfway for a conversation. I wish I could polish the stars, I said. And a dear friend responded, “you do each time you share your thoughts with us”. Boom!

I am brave. My mother told me so many times throughout my life you are brave. You can do this. So, I know that I am and I can. I have groped through the darkness looking for a way out of loneliness only to find it where I least expected it. With a woman, a colleague, my administrator, who is not unlike myself, but different, nonetheless. A woman who in her own way has let me know you are kind, you are gentle, but you need to let those who seemingly like and respect you know that you are worthy of that like and respect.

She is saying “you are sensitive, I want you to stay that way, but for God’s sake, set your limits, woman. Do not apologize and attempt to fix what isn’t yours to fix. And I love her for that. I wish I could hug her, but I do not think she is the hugging kind.

Boom! Great fodder for further conflabs!

Pat, the other evening I came across a bare tree with one stray leaf, waving in the wind. It caught my attention. I said, what took you so fucking long? You replied, I have been here all along, you just haven’t settled long enough to listen. And we laughed.

Boom. Instant conflab. Instant relief.

It really didn’t hurt that hard when the tree hit my head.


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