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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


I woke up this morning in a tree house overlooking the city of Cork.  So strange that I am living in some Robinson Carusoesque abode in the middle of a city.  It is and was unexpected.  I kind of thought it was in someone’s backyard in the countryside when I booked it.  Never really looking at the map to much of my life happens like this...just winging it.  Just getting the barest of information and then just running with it. I can’t tell you how many times I have been fucked by this tendency in my life.  But I will also tell you that I have much more often been handsomely rewarded...which is why it is still my modus operandi, I suppose.

I woke this morning, peaceful and tranquil.  A tiny Irish robin sits on the bannister just outside, waiting for me to get up and share whatever I might have to eat in here.  She keeps arriving and fleeing...and I am reminded of myself.  Again.  Still.

I keep doing this too.  Arriving and fleeing.  Relationships, mostly.  Relationships with men, predominantly.  So it would appear, I tend to find someone who will only give me the morsels I crave sporadically, then while I hunger for more, they always seem to pull back the handouts, causing me to crave for any tiny crumb, given only by them.

This is not a new revelation.  I can see my past littered with it.  In fact, it is only those that lay it on thick, but then retract oh so quickly that have ever been safe to love.  I think generally speaking those are the only ones safe enough to love with wild abandon because they are ones where the exit sign is constantly illuminated brightly, lighting up my way out without any added fanfare.

So I sustain myself on crumbs until my appetite leads me elsewhere.  Sometimes it is another source provider, mostly I figure out a way to give the nourishment I need to myself.  At least until someone else comes around to promise me the five course meal, only to walk out or back away from the table once more before the first course is even set.

On occasion I have found someone who has wanted to provide the full range, a varitable feast but then holds back, mostly due to their own trauma and wounds, and so have the peculiar tendency to end the picnic before it even gets started.  Of course, in that venue, I am the asshole who fucks it all up.  Never being willing to have someone who really wants me.  Like there is something indescribably wrong with them if they want the likes of me and are willing to see us through. To remain long after the dessert is devoured...

Perhaps I fear that those who linger, who wait, who love me and want to spend a lifetime with me, are really just new versions of myself, capable of being all in only when there is a ready exit consistently and perpetually available.  I mean, how can I ever trust them, when I know myself to be the most untrustworthy (at least where affairs of the heart are concerned) of all?

I have been on this trek, this deep dive into what I am and who I am in this place in my life.  And while it feels that I will spend the rest of my days, solitary and tranquil, that desire to be loved, committed, seen, heard, adored, reviled still calls to me like some sort of beacon in the the night of my life.  And so far, anyway, I always pick it up.  It is irresistible to me, the allure, the calling, the chance that perhaps, maybe, this time it will and can be different...only it never, ever is. Hope is a relentless bastard really.

I realize that I hide my pain beneath a volume of happiness.  Mostly, to keep it from every reaching my own consciousness.  No one ever asks a happy person what is wrong.  No one even knows that I am upset, bereft, longing, hurting, languishing in a pain that feels like it will be my undoing.  No one ever sees because it remains buried and encumbered beneath the heapings of happy I dole out in copious amounts.  This positivity is so confounding and confusing to me...because I actually feel it.  What I realized on this trip is that it isn’t that I don’t feel the pain, the sorrow, the loss, it is just that I so much prefer the happy that I leave all that painful shit over there, with the idea that I will deal with it someday...but then the pile of hard is ever growing and so now I must produce the happy in large amounts to keep the other stuff that threatens forever in check.  It has become the never ending cycle of my existence..

On this trip, the pain, sorrow and loss has found me.  Apparently, it travels with you and once removed from its corner in your home, gets mighty upitty and bold.  And so it demands a reckoning, which is exactly what I have learned traversing the entire coastline of Ireland in the past nine days.   It is there when I wake up.  It is there when I drive.  It is there when I hike.  It is there when I receive the crumbs from the person from whom I most want a full meal from...and with.  It is there and will not be relegated to any corner I have sought and found on this island of green. It is still there when I retire each evening exhausted from the battling of myself all the fucking day.

The pain, loss and my total part in all of it has shadowed me like a fucking bloodhound, always on my scent and trail.  I have tried to leave that fucker in bogs, on sandy beaches, on rocky shores, on mountainside streams, on ports of call, on city streets but I cannot shake it.  And I am now resigned and tired from all my attempts to shake it off.  I can’t.  So I do the only thing I know to do at this point in time.

Surrender to the truth that I want things from people who do not have what I want and need to give.  Maybe ever, but certainly right now.  And all my ideas, plans and schemes about how to exit this whole fucking debacle only serves to keep me ever sinking in the mire that I set up and cause in the first place.  Around and around we go.  

I can see that this hopeless romantic, this immature child within me cannot ever stop wanting, wishing and believing that this time, perhaps, it will be different.  But it never fucking is...and maybe that is because I don’t want it to be.  There is perhaps an epic payoff in the struggle I continue to engage.  That I don’t know who I am or even how to live without it.  I have been doing it for so long now, it has never occurred to me that there really could possibly be another way. This is the person I hide in plain sight...

So I am wracked, lashed down and bolted to the torture of my own making, again, still.  I don’t know who I am without it, and while it will never, ever be satisfying, I am lost on the horizon of my own decisions, beliefs, needs, trauma and buried beneath the happiness I feel compelled to produce to manage all I refuse to deal with...

So I find myself in the most tranquil of places, wretched and tortured through thoughts I produce but cannot escape, because you see, my only avenues of escape just circle me right back around to begin again.

So up in this tree, I am just surrendering.  I want things I cannot have.  I need things I cannot receive.  Mostly because I do not know how to ask for them, and because it would be in the asking, that most vulnerable admission of need, where I am most terrified.  Most stuck.  Most ruined, repeatedly.  I cannot give up the futile struggle because it is all I have left.  So I am seemingly endlessly tied to forever going and coming and committing and leaving, sometimes you actually know, but so very often you see nothing because I have blinded you with the enduring and relentless positivity that appears as a wellspring in my life, fountains of happy, that beguile and dazzle you with their brilliance, forever hiding the dark abyss from which it all springs.

I don’t know what to do, or how to solve it all.  I just know this.  I know how to do this, over and over again until perhaps I am dead.  That is all I know.  Perhaps it is just a grand illusion that anyone else has this figured out.  Perhaps this existential crisis of love and loving belongs to everyone, however, on days like today it feels to belong only to me, its burdens hard to bear and carry.

So high above the city of Cork, I find a willingness to just let go.  To surrender to the idea that, so far anyway, there appears no other way for me to exist.  Forever lashed to the coming and the going and the belief each time that I will be forever remained or forever leaved, but in reality, the only truth that is actually real, is that I will forever create more situations just like this one.  Because it is all I know, and apparently all I believe in.

But today I wake, so tired of this struggle of my own making, and as dawns cracks open the darkness of night, I see some tiny glimmer of what feels like something nascent and new.  Some new idea that I cannot quite grasp yet.  Some new idea that perhaps I am not the savior in this drama of my life, perhaps I have and may forever be the person in most need of rescue, hiding always behind my fortress of competence, of ability, of accomplishment, of the happy facade that grows like ivy over the whole ruinous structure that belies the decay and decrepitness that rots slowly as time passes above.  No one sees the ailing substructure, because I don’t want them committed to my campaigns of happiness, brevity and light.  So committed to this leaving and coming and coming and leaving that I have no time for anything else...

But as I woke today, there was a crack in my interiority that feels like it is swelling, like some internal uprising, like a roiling Irish rebellion called forth and into the light from its sleeper cells in the hillsides.  Get ready it says...all your training will be useful, you will see...except my rising isn’t against the Prods or the British or the establishment or anything exterior to me, no this rebellion is completely contained within the ancient and sagging walls of myself...and for the life of me, I cannot tell you whether I shall be like all the Irish rebellions before me, waylaid and devastated by the never ending informants that kill the movement just as it gains momentum.  Because if there is one thing I truly know, that most causes, most uprisings are crushed from within, rarely the forces without...and I see that now.  In ways and manners that I cannot fully explain, fail to completely understand and long for a resolution that brings some everlasting peace... 

So the treehouse, the tranquilatree seems to ask of me, is this the last place you call peaceful where a war rages inside you? Or are you brave enough to own that so long as you continue your struggle as you have, there will never, ever be any kind of tranquilatree, or tranquility for your rebellious, wild soul.

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