Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, July 27, 2013

5-22-13 RMB Driven

5-22-13 RMB Driven
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
I pick up various books now and then to read a page or a chapter. It somehow calms my scattered mind to have several caves to retreat to. Places where the words are about another’s life, fictional or factual; better still is that those lives are distant, not in my backyard, not within my circle. Sometimes the retreat is in the meaning of a tarot card or a specific exercise to tighten abs or stretch calves.
Right now life buzzes inside of me. Although it is a good thing, it is hard to hold. It squirms like a newborn, tugs like a two year old and, if ignored, it whines, sometimes wails. So I retreat into the words of others…and I walk, trot or jog, trying in equal measure to escape it and to find it.
“When I asked him about this, he simply says that he has always believed that when you encourage someone to truly be themselves, you end up getting more than if you try to make them be what you want them to be.” Those are words from a husband named Jo who helped his wife discover herself, at the risk of losing her. I like Jo. Their story is in the book Dear John, I love Jane; real stories, real lives.
I don’t know how their story ends yet. That’s a discovery for another day. Meanwhile his words seep into me.  My life struggles include seeing everything as a puzzle, defining the shape of my own life and how or where it fits in, understanding people, our universe, why we are how we are and to what end.
Images of the Lord of the Rings pop up. The drive, the mission, to protect, to carry the ring, something of its kin lay buried within me. The similarity is comical, until I feel the gravity of it. Sometimes it appears too clearly to ignore, I take action, some good comes of it. People thank me for whatever I have done, for helping them in some way, for showing them something they needed to see, for sharing something about life, their life or life in general.
After release, rather than rest peacefully, the drive builds and it is harder to still it than before. And as I open my mouth to speak, I find I have more questions than answers…and who am I to speak that does not have answers? Another question.
“…when you encourage someone to truly be themselves, you end up getting more than if you try to make them be what you want them to be.”
I have been looking at the world, trying to make myself be what I wanted to be based on upbringing, others expectations, social order, cultural influence…and now I write Rita Mae Brown letters, which fits no mold. I am allowing myself to be myself. Such a simple lesson that took far too long to learn.
Immediately apprehension grips me, this drive is strong. I don’t know where it will take me; Time to find out.
Thanks for listening Rita Mae Brown…
and for breaking society’s hold on the mold that defines a person,

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