Beneath My Secrets, and Maybe Yours Too

When I was a teenager, my bedroom was off the back of the farmhouse in Vermont where I grew up. In that room I had a desk (the same dark cherry wood desk I have now) and a typewriter. It was there that I would air my secrets through raw little poems.

After the sun went down, when the doings were done and all was quiet, I could finally feel that which had been repressed all day. High school classes, the “guidance” of guidance counselors, and the cues from my parents about what I should be doing and learning, who I should become, made very little sense to me. So as most of us do in our teenage years, I had been perfecting a bulletproof facade for daily life.

But upon closing my door for the night, I let myself feel all the confused and vulnerable feelings that I tucked inside when others were around. Like moths, these feelings would flutter up out of the darkness, blind and aimless. With paper-thin wings they would circle in as if circling a light. I’d try to capture them in a quick sketch of words before they flew off again.

Then as I typed away, a mysterious presence would fill the room. It was vast and inexplicable. And when it came I was engulfed in the promise that life wasn’t narrow, nor was it something I must fit myself into. It filled me with hope that one day I would get out of this system and be able to choose magic instead of monotony. It would sometimes stay til I went to sleep, but always be gone with the alarm of morning.

The mystery still comes sometimes. In the moments when I permit the uncontrollable fear, love, overwhelm to exist without trying to twist or reshape them into something else. When I question the rules. When I stop trying… then it enters.

When you dim the lights, sit alone, become quiet you too can dare yourself to feel. Not just feel what you want to feel. Not feel to the end of changing or rearranging. But to feel as an act of surrender. To feel in order to allow your secrets out for a gallop in the darkened meadow and find out what exists beyond the bounds of your control.

Upon freeing your secrets like this you too might discover something baffling and extraordinary. You might discover that by shedding your stupid tricks and slights of hand… by quitting propping yourself up and agreeing to the codes of society… by just letting yourself fall backwards… you become hopeless and weightless at once.

And then all there is, is possibility and wonder.

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