Discover more from Where Pianos Roam
To Carry Everything and Carry On
I Know Why Some Flowers Have Thorns
The other day, a friend of mine suggested that I close my eyes and imagine myself enshrouded in a soft aura of my favorite color whenever I feel out of sorts and paranoid, and within that aura, that is where I will feel safe, protected, and whole. I told him that was a wonderful idea and that I would give it a try.
There are actually a few things I would like to try like going for a long walk by myself in my neighborhood again or making eye contact with people when I am out in public. I cannot tell you when those actions will happen again in the easy ways they once did.
I can tell you that, for now, this will be the last issue of WPR in which I will discuss the physical assault I recently experienced. This intimate online space is intended to be a haven in which I explore my creative pursuits and share my art with people whom I love and know. I have so much more to give.
Somewhere else, I am carving out an interior hollow where the memories of this assault can live—a small, private satchel of a space that hangs alongside all of the complex and nuanced memories that make up the tapestry of my life so far.
I understand that time will help me grow out of all this, but past traumas have taught me that all of the hurt I hold needs to run its course and be handled gently. Whenever I reach a place of joy and sweetness, I want those feelings and expressions to be authentic and not some facade that masks an unseen heaviness.
One important point to mention is that I have not been passive. Every day since the incident happened, I have done something proactive to help me sort out and manage the emotional and mental wreckage in my body. I have been taking medicine (both herbal and otherwise), acupuncture treatments, a relaxing reiki session, long spells in bed, resting when I feel tired, reading a book, quiet moments of contemplation, writing about my feelings, reaching out to friends and loved ones to talk it out, and hugs—lots and lots of tender hugs. There is nothing quite like feeling held.
On some days, I do something very easy, like taking a few deep and calming breathes, and on a couple of occasions, I have taken bold action.
This past Tuesday night, I spoke at the monthly board meeting of the Cannon County Walking Horse Association to which the men who accosted me belong. In front of an almost entirely white audience of 40 people, I described what happened to me. I gave an emotional and tearful testimony, and this helped initiate a lengthy discussion about what could be done to prevent this in the future.
The people from the association were very apologetic and said they would take proactive steps to try to ensure everyone’s safety moving forward. Thankfully, I did not attend this meeting alone. Twelve people from my own community of friends who live near the location where this ordeal happened, including my partner, were in attendance. It was comforting to hear the dialogue between my friends and the leaders of the walking horse association. There were different walks of life represented that night, and several people showed a willingness to talk it out and listen to each other.
My friends gave me a big group hug after we left the meeting. This is a newer, better memory I will carry.
I am pleased with the progress I am making, but there is more to do.
I have been thinking lately about roses. They are striking, elegant, and incredibly gorgeous creatures, but they come with thorns, as if the beauty and vitality they hold must be protected fiercely. Maybe I need to be more like roses, despite being the daffodil that I am.
What if, instead, I could be a hybrid of both? What if I could inhabit joy and the beauty of life in a way that is also fiercely protective and vigilant? This assault on me has been a glaring reminder of how the world can be an immensely wretched, cruel, and terrible place. To live life fully is to understand this truth as deeply and fundamentally as possible. This understanding must become my suit of armor—or at least my own mane of prickly thorns.
Moving forward, I will carry everything and manage the load as gently as I can.
In case you were wondering, yellow is my favorite color.
As often as needed, I will take a deep breath and immerse myself in its golden, sunlit hues.
Where Pianos Roam is my reader-supported labor of love. New posts arrive every Friday. To support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.