I feel like a snake who continues to wear its old skin. Even though it no longer fits. Even though it smells. Even though it hurts to breathe. Even though it’s bulging, tearing, and completely unflattering. Even though the soft, new skin is being rubbed raw by the husk of my former self. There is nothing wrong with my life except that it is no longer a reflection of who I am/who I am becoming. I have been struggling to write for the last few weeks. It’s not for a lack of inspiration and it is certainly not for lack of emotion. If anything my emotions might be too big right now. I just can’t process them into convenient bite-sized pieces. It is like trying to eat the whole apple tree, when each apple is in and of itself a fully realized poem. 

I am trying to learn to ride a bike. Yes I am an adult. No, I didn’t learn as a child. My first memory of learning to ride a bike was when I was 5. I got a bike for Christmas. I was super excited. My dad took me out to the street in front of our house to practice. He was drunk. He tried for a few minutes. I don’t remember much of what happened during that short lesson. Both my parents were screaming. At me. At each other. At themselves deep down. When I didn’t catch on after a few minutes my parents decided to sell the bike. It was a waste of money. I was unteachable. They sold the bike.

When I was 10 my aunt’s boyfriend decided to teach me to ride a bike. We had never met before that moment but he was very patient/kind. My cousin decided it would be fun to unscrew the handlebars in secret so the lesson started out with a not so pleasant surprise. I managed to get over that little incident and continued with my practice (handlebars secure). My aunt lived in a very hilly area. The bike started to pick up a lot of speed while going down a brutal hill. I got scared and hit the brakes unexpectedly. The man teaching me flew over the handlebars and rolled down the hill and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop him. I remember running down that hill, blood dripping down my legs, scared that he might be seriously injured or worse. He was all crumpled up. He was okay but it scared the shit out of me. He wasn’t upset and luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt. He was as worried about me as I was about him. After that I never seemed to be able to get on a bike without intense fear.

A few days ago I started. Short sessions. 2 days into my own lessons and my daughter was riding her bike down the driveway and hit a car (a moving car). She was going pretty fast because of the intense incline on the driveway. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. All summer she has been inside playing video games so I was happy that she wanted to do something active. A few minutes after she left a woman rang the doorbell and asked me if I had a daughter. She then told me my daughter had been hit by a car. I have no idea what I felt. I have no idea what I said, if anything. She broke her collarbone and has various bruises and scrapes. It could have been much, much worse. She could have hit her head. She has informed me that she will never ride a bike again, that she has learned her lesson. The next day I went out and practiced some more. I knew I had to go out as soon as possible because if I didn’t then the fear would likely immobilize me. Hopefully by learning to ride a bike, my daughter will have the courage to try again.

I am so tired of living in fear. Happiness, authentic happiness only occurs when you step outside of your comfort zone.

I don’t have the greatest attitude when it comes to learning new things. As a kid learning new things often corresponded with abuse (physical, emotional, and/or sexual) so I tend to get defensive. I can’t change what happened in the past but I can change my attitude going forward. I have decided to adopt more of an “Uncarved Block” approach to life. Life is an adventure. I am a student and the obstacles I encounter along the way are for the benefit of my growth and development. I can be grateful while still taking responsibility for my own happiness. I can be grateful while still releasing what needs to be released. I don’t have to hang on to beliefs that do not serve me. I don’t have to devote all my energy into becoming a round peg. I don’t even want to be a round peg. Society rarely measures success in healthy/compassionate ways. So why should I adopt societies’ standards of beauty? They don’t reflect my standards. Why should I adopt any belief system or way of being that makes me miserable/cripples me/sucks me dry/causes harm to myself and those I love? I am starting to realize more and more that we create our own lives/experiences and that if nothing else we can always change our perspective. I have spent so much of my life struggling and fighting. When I am practicing on the bike. I fight it. I don’t let the bike do what it was designed to do. I come in thinking that somehow I can outwit the basic principles of physics and mechanics. Sometimes though I forget all that, I forget my fear, my pride, and just for a moment I think “Weee!”. I want to have more fun with my life, whatever shape my life takes, whoever comes along for the ride.

There are a lot of changes taking place both within me and in my life right now. My very identity is being re-written. Maybe even my fucking DNA. I don’t know. All I know is that I want to be on this journey.

I never really learned how to deal with the fact that someone might someday love me back. I have spent so much effort in protecting/destroying/redefining my ego. What the ego perceives is not reality, it is illusion. Yet I invest all my efforts into supporting a view of life/reality which is not only false but incredibly fucking limiting and unpleasant. My ego was shaped in tragedy by people who were themselves deeply traumatized. If I accept my ego as the sole component of my identity it is the same thing as letting my traumas define me. Don’t get my wrong ego has its place/its function but the ego doesn’t speak from a place of love and compassion, it speaks from a place of fear. The ego seeks only to justify itself at the expense of others. You see there are no absolutes, no one-size fits all philosophies, no living being that does not evolve. We each create our own truths. We bring those truths with us to every situation and it evolves with us because it has to, because we are not static, because we are not dead. Everyone of us is gifted with intuition. Instinctively we know where we belong. We know when we have acted or spoken in a way which is not consistent with our truth. Our bodies react to it. We know when we first encounter someone if we want to get closer by the way we feel because we feel something which wakes us up/because they challenge the limited perceptions imposed by our egos. The ego screams danger, danger, whenever anyone or anything challenges the status quo and when we let ego dictate our lives entirely we limit love. We limit our creativity. We limit abundance. We limit our ability to grow spiritually and emotionally. The ego will always choose addiction over love.

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4 thoughts on “The Uncarved Block

  1. Bravo beautiful poet. You inspire me every time you write. Thank you for sharing. I can feel myself outgrowing my skin too in reflection of you. Send you so much love ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. I was riding my cousin’s ten speed and I crashed into a car when I was eight. I was not used to the brakes being on the handlebars and I panicked when I was going down this hill and just ended up peddling backwards, instead of stopping. I got ten stitches in my head and the guy who’s car I hit screamed at my dad that he should pay for the damage. My dad told that guy to go way before he called a lawyer to try and sue him.

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