I confess that I am somewhat bothered by the general lack of depth of posts for the past month or so; with the preparations to ship both Offspring the Second and Offspring the Third off to college, and pressing tasks at work, and general states of clutter and distractedness, it has been somewhat difficult to find the time and energy to sit quietly and focus thoughts sufficiently to write longer and more meaningful posts. Alas. Perhaps, as we settle into the new routine that is the fall, matters will improve.
I confess, too, that there has been an issue dwelling in the depths, one of sufficient importance that light should be shed upon it. For to bring it to the surface will, I hope, ease its impact, and allow me to focus outward instead of inward.
The issue is difficult to put into words, because if precisely the correct words are not chosen, I run the risk of inadvertently accusing other people of a failure which is not, in fact, a fault of theirs in particular, but instead is a flaw that lies within me alone. Let me try these plain words:
I feel insufficiently nurtured.
Despite having these good people in my life, deep in my core there still slumbers a longing that may in fact encompass a Black Hole or a Bottomless Void. It is a primal need for nurturing, and this need is a tiny, fearsome beast, one that I fear may never be content.
The beast both craves and fears attention. It wants to be left alone: I will do it all myself! -- and it longs for companionship and assistance: help me. It does not want to be a burden, or something to be scoffed at or scolded, and so it struggles along alone as best it can, not ever asking directly for any assistance.
I know it is there, and I am shamed by its presence.
Sometimes, it slumbers, and both it and I are at peace. Other times, it howls, and I must try to soothe it. I do the best I can to take care of it, but because it is a Black Hole/Bottomless Void, I cannot ever do enough. I endeavor to keep it content, and to rock it to sleep again. I resent it, and I pity it.
I wonder, sometimes, if my enjoyment of (and drive for) nurturing other people, is borne in part from the presence of this tiny beast in my heart.
Perhaps this acknowledgement of the existence of the creature will placate it. I hope so. I will continue to care for it, for it is my tiny beast. It needs love, as we all do. And perhaps, given more time, it and I will learn to dwell together in harmony in our solitude.
Illustration: Ged and the Otak, from
A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula K. LeGuin)