Crossing bridges

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
Henry David Thoreau
 After being in Sancerre where life is so quite and tranquil being in Paris was the direct opposite. The city bustled with life, art and and plenty of beautiful people. Being in the city was great but I was still plagued with feeling lost. I had thought I would know what to do by the time I got to Paris. I had thought sometime during my time away an answer to what is next would come, I am always hoping that! But some magical cloud did not descend over me and a voice did not inform me of my next move. I had no idea what I was going to do.
Oh how I dislike the feeling of being lost. The above picture is of a bridge on the estate at Versailles and I remembered thinking of the number of women whom had seen that same bridge as they walked the grounds lost in their thoughts of quiet desperation. How many woman across the expanse of time had been just like me lost in thought and speaking to our inner most being, “is this really it, God? Is there nothing more to life than this?” And their lives had surely been more of a prison than mine. There was a heaviness in my chest as I walked the grounds it was my last day and I would be on a plane returning home the following morning. What I despise more than being lost is going home.
What a sentence, right? But I know what it means for me to be home, there or here, I return to nowhere to do nothing. As my inevitable return approaches I feel this familiar ache inside of me and it smacks of failure. A voice barely audible laughs and says,” See, you can try to leave but you will always go back. You can try to break away but I have you and you will do as I say” I hear the evil witch draw out my curse, I am screaming with my hands covering my ears, “No, I am supposed to be free”. I closed my eyes and saw myself sitting on my couch at home looking around I saw my cage, my hand-made prison and it was all around me just waiting for my return.
Just as I was on the edge of insanity by the impending end of my trip my daughter thought to lure me home with Lenny Kravitz tickets. “Come home by the 7th and we can see Lenny in the cities” Ok so how could I disappoint my daughter like that? Now there was no other choice but to return back to my hand made prison, frowny face, but I was going to see Lenny, chin up, I was going to see Lenny with great seats, smiley face, No choice but to return for now that is!
It has taken me well over a week to feel some what normal. I am not sleeping and I am not happy being surrounded by the dead of winter and a fricking fugitive to the cold. I can see that it is beautiful outside it’s just that I will turn to stone freezing to death if I go out there said with a dramatic flare. Even the cats have been prisoners to the cold irritating me with their sleep all day and be awake all night bull shit! Have they ever heard of jet lag!
This morning I was thinking about that walk in France and I remembered seeing that bridge. While I was deep in thought of the prison I was returning to I walked right past it. I did stop to look at it and thought it interesting enough to take a picture of but I didn’t cross it yet I could have. Just like in these last few days while I have been feeling a prisoner to jet lag, a prisoner to this house,and  a prisoner to this weather, I have become a prisoner to my thoughts. This morning much less cold thank you God, I thought of those women so long ago who unlike me had so few choices but could only dream of the kind of freedom I could have if I took it. I would dare to say that most would not even understand the vastness of the freedom of my new world.
To move through this prison of my thoughts I closed my eyes and went back to the moment I passed the bridge but this time I am going to cross it and go a different direction. In the present moment lies all the freedom we could ever imagine. We are going nowhere we haven’t already been and we are being reunited to that which never let us go. It does not matter where we go or if we go we take our prisons with us and the key to our freedom is usually tied around our own necks. I know all of this by experience so in my mind’s eye I stepped onto the bridge. Time to forge a new path.
To move out of your prison look for a door or look for a bridge to cross. That bridge on my walk looked well-worn yet nearly disguised by the path and surrounding foliage but it was there for everyone to see shooting off in a direction for any one to go. Was it dangerous this road less traveled maybe, was it a long forgotten short cut, maybe, was it the ‘right’ way, maybe, or just maybe it was another path filled with new adventures, probably.
While I cross the bridge I will listen to the voices of the women who have crossed it before me and then after I get to the other side I will lend my voice of support to the next woman who thinks to look at the bridge and take the tentative steps down a new road, away from the prison of old worn out thoughts towards a vastly new version of herself… See you on the other side
🙂 smiley face!
Said with a little sarcasm I hate those stupid smiley face emoticons!

One thought on “Crossing bridges

  1. To use Milan’s term from his book – we are all “sedentary nomads” leaving deep furrows in our quest for meaning and purpose – collecting and abandoning the bruises and baubles of our own paths. I think the bridge is beautiful. Who has traveled these same steps before? Who will follow? What have we left behind for others? Do we look at the individual stones that make up the whole and get lost in contemplation of its creators? Do we look far into the forest and see what lies ahead? Do we touch the others who happen across our way? In what manner? Do we walk, do we run, dare we skip? Do we stop? What are we leaving for those who come after us? What are we leaving for those we love the most? We curse the deep trenches that we have forged, but they are where we find (dis)comfort because they are familiar. The most beautiful thing about life is its elasticity – we are constantly presented opportunities for introspection or to take flight, and if we so choose, to see the world through a new lens or through the eyes of those around us and make the vision our own. I agree – C’est fini! and then it begins again!

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