Friday, May 7, 2010

Chapter Six - Part Two - Pesticide and Herbicide Recovery

If weeds and harmful bugs are the distractions that come into a writer's life, then pesticide and herbicide are the self-delusion that they can be controlled without any effort. I've experienced heavy use of self-delusion for years and years because I believed that I could do both -- I could change the world to suit my needs and I could maintain my innocence.

It is true that I am living in an area of the country that is crazy for organic farming, but that does not mean I have no sympathy for the crop duster farming of the mid-20th century. I really get it. This is the thing: I had a dear grand-uncle, Pretty Pa, who was a crop dustin' fool. He believed in the "green revolution" of his time, having lived through the dust bowl. He knew the value of creating a reliable source of food and cotton not just for his own pockets but also in developing nations that were plagued by famine and shortages because of pests of all kinds. He knew that the consumer didn't want worm-eaten apples, or rusty grapefruits, or weavel eaten cotton. He was highly successful as a farmer, until he went bankrupt because his business partner embezzled money. He died of cancer at age 72, and had his ashes spread across the fields of the Rio Grande Valley from a crop duster.

In my own life, I knew that no one, least of all me, wanted to acknowledge that there was something terribly wrong in my life. I chose to be "practical" and put aside my aspirations, or at the most give them the smallest fraction of my time and effort, in order to hold together the external picture of the life I thought everyone wanted to see in me. I thought I had the bugs and weeds pretty well concealed with my own form of pesticides and herbicides. My habits included work-aholism, always filling my home with guests, maintaining an optimist's point of view that it would all change for the better. After I split with my ex-husband, I had many friends come forward and admit to me that they were frightened or offended by the way he treated me in front of them. I was shocked! I had believed that I'd been alone in my perceptions. I only vaguely recalled one lone voice of a friend telling me that she didn't think that he was the right man for me. In fact, I sought out friends and therapists who would agree with me that the marriage could be saved rather than friends and therapists who could help me face reality.

What I suffered from was the idea that with mental pesticides and herbicides I had kept under wraps all the insidious bugs of domestic violence and distractions I was creating from the eyes of my consumers. If no one else could see it then it could be reduced and reduced until finally I had magically thought it away. What I created instead was a toxic, wiped out top soil where very little could grow anymore, and a lot of it could just blow away. And it did. I went bankrupt, I lost control over where I would live, and I nearly lost what was most important to me, my children. These experiences were not unshared, my ex-husband mirrored them in his own way, and frankly I don't think either one of us has fully recovered, but he has presented that external picture of recovery whereas I have refused to put forth the idea that all is resolved and I'm just fine.

In fact, I'm flabbergasted by the expectations of friends and family who believe that I should be plowing forward as if nothing had ever happened to me. Their impatience has caused me to isolate myself at times. It's not that I want to wallow in this field that has questionable top soil, too much water at times, and that I never want to plant anything again. It's just that I realize that rushing to fix it is what got me into the mess in the first place. It takes a thousand years to naturally replace one inch of top soil. Can the world give me a few years to get my bearings? I don't want to completely abandon myself in this moment when I might actually recover what I lost track of in the past.

On the other hand, I'm sure there are those who think I've rushed into my second marriage to fix my top soil. They would be wrong. My sweet husband is the most patient man on earth I think. He knows I'm broken, and loves me anyway. We don't put on airs that everything in our lives is hunky-dory. We're not investing in anything but learning to accept each other on our own terms. He's sacrificing having all sort of bachelor-style toys to support my growth, though he points out whenever I project my guilt onto him that he does nothing that he doesn't want to do, and I believe him. I am inspired to truly grow (from the inside out) in order to be there for him when he needs me should that ever happen. It's just a totally different scenario, and it isn't always comfortable for me because it means I can't project a perfect picture to friends and family who would prefer it.

In fact, it seems I am digging deeper and deeper into my own discomfort in order to finally truly arise. Like some deep-rooted weeds that mine the depths of the soil and bring up those minerals and nutrients to the surface, I have to watch the growth of my discomfort and nip it in the bud before it becomes a reproductive weed. Naturally a deep-rooted weed helps depleted soil in a way that nothing else can, so can discomfort point force me to recognize myself and heal. Only when I accept all of myself will I be writing from a greater Source, and delivering the greater message I know I am capable of delivering.

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