Did you see the sunrise this morning? Breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. Talk about some divine artistry. I am actually sitting here writing at this very moment while glancing through the window and continuing to watch the unfolding. It only lasts for a very few moments every day at very specific time. This photo is what I am seeing in this very moment. I almost cropped the parking lot and cars out of the picture, but then decided that leaving them in told a much fuller and expansive story. Divine sunrises, cracked parking lots, cars (some functioning and some not), buildings, telephone and cable wires cutting across the view: they all serve there own unique purpose and they are all part of my reality. I decided to give them all a 'seat at the table' so to speak.
A 'seat at the table' and what it means has been a point of reflection and a theme of mine lately. In practice it looks like when I experience something uncomfortable, instead of dismissing it, barreling past it, distracting myself with some other activity, pretending it does not exist or thinking that I will deal with it later; I invite it to have a seat at the table. I hang out with the awkwardness and uncomfortably. I turn it around and look at it from different angles.
Not too long ago I discovered that I had a very effective trap door mechanism. There were and are certain experiences, emotions, events that I realized I had not been giving space to. I am a very visual person and when I say I discovered a trap door, it means I could literally see one inside my body. At other points and times in my life this would have become a painting, at this point and time I am practicing painting with my words.
These undigested pieces of experience and emotions would slip pass and through the trap door which I saw and experienced as being at the base of my neck, and take up residence. They would hide in various locations and sometimes make surprise guest appearances in ways that until recently seemed unexpected or unrelated. I often labeled my ability to keep moving without dwelling on them or their impact and effects as being strong. I got this. I can handle this. There was even a sense of pride related to how much I could take and keep on going. To be honest , kind and fair with myself, there were many ways in which being this way insured my survival, allowed me to work full time, be a single parent, get a masters degree, and the list can go on.
But here's the thing...those undigested emotions, feelings and experiences, well they don't just go away and the tricks and mechanisms that are needed to sustain them come at a cost. A couple of weeks ago I began experiencing some significant headaches. This is not a typical experience for me. The headaches also came with some very strange occurrences such as eye twitching, teeth grinding, weird ear sensations. The headaches did not go away and so I went to see my doctor. The x-rays she ordered revealed that I have bone spurs and severe degeneration of the disks in my cervical spine - which is right at the base of my neck. Is it a coincidence that this is where I saw the trap door? Maybe and maybe not. I have been seeing the chiropractor twice a week and doing what I need to and the headaches and most of the symptoms have stopped but this is something that I will need to pay attention to and care for the rest of my life. I have also been doing a lot of work on those unmetabolized bits of my own story. I am choosing to embrace all of these experiences as an opportunity.
As much as possible, I am embracing beauty as it exists in the entire and whole picture. The more I increase my ability to not filter out aspects, bits and pieces, to see how it is all related and connected, the greater my ability is to frame the story in a way that shines light in all of the corners.
Here is this morning's sunrise one more time. Breathtaking.
Here is a bit more of the story. The building directly in front of the sunrise was salvaged and renovated in the last couple of years since I moved here. It is now a building which houses a community of industrial arts business. There is a large building in the distance which is a shell of its former self. It is the old papermill that once upon a time was central to this town and inhabitants. It currently stands as an echo and at times provides shelter for well...happenings that society does not always like to experience or feel such as homelessness and things people do in dark abandoned buildings. The house that I own was originally built as housing for the mill workers and their families. I believe every house on my street was. The cars in the parking lot, well for me they remind me of my dad. He was a mechanic and I grew up around his garage and cars in various states of repair and disrepair. The mountain you can see is Fall Mountain and it is on the other side of the railroad tracks and the Connecticut River which acts as a boundary between here in Bellows Falls, Vermont and Walpole, New Hampshire. This is the Y or intersection of where the Saxtons River meets the Connecticut River and was a fishing site for the Abenaki peoples. The papermill played a roll in the decline of the fish. Down the river is an archaeological site containing panels of some of the oldest petroglyphs in North America.
These are just a very few and tiny pieces of the story. There is so much more that I could tell you about the stories and what exists in within the frame of this photo. There are layers upon layers upon layers. So...for this morning I decided to leave it all in; completely unedited and unfiltered and all of it kissed by a divine sunrise and light.
I hope your day is blessed with some gorgeous light shining on some of the detailed, complicated and beautiful parts of your story.
Today is day 97 of Project 365. There are 268 remaining.