Thursday, May 19, 2005

rising like a phoenix

What a difference a few days makes. I am feeling really good about things again, empowered even. I know that my moods shift quite a bit - I am hypersensitive to those around me and things happening in my life and in the world, but I'm trying to find balance between feeling like the world is on my shoulders (i.e. I alone have the power to make things happen, and I am responsible/guilty for all things that happen) and not losing the compassion and drive to take charge and make a difference and make positive choices for my life (which I believe derives in part from the former).

The problem lies in knowing what is the right decision - something I have struggled with probably since I was forced by fate and circumstance to choose between my parents in a custody trial. Someone is going to get hurt, and my choice made that pain. Who was it recently who told me, "You were a child forced to make a grownup decision and the weight and burden of that decision was a direct result of the failures and selfishness of the parents, not yours." It was an awakening. I can acknowledge that truth without any bitterness or resentment toward anyone involved because they did the best they could and had no idea of the weight placed on this little urchin's shoulders. Despite the suffering (and emotional pain and toil is real suffering), I am a stronger person for it.

Now these days I am figuring out the best decisions in my own personal life. I find it so incredibly hard to make decisions sometimes, that I often make them and then change my mind (about twenty times!). I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to sabotage my own happiness. I want to stand up for what I know I need, but I think that maybe I am being too selfish, too impatient, too demanding. Maybe I am, but in the end its our lives and that is what we have to live with.

It's a hard thing to trust someone else, and feel betrayal and frustration when you see someone else making what you think are utterly wrong decisions (going against deep truths I believe in). Its also hard to walk in someone else's shoes and I can not judge, though it hurts. Despite the seeming end of what I thought was a really beautiful relationship, I find myself at peace about things for the first time in a while. I feel that I simply must let go and I find I am actually able to do it. I have felt anger and grief, but for me anger is a short-lived emotion. I try to grieve in the moment so it doesn't slurk out from under the rug when I want joy. I forgive and move on. Would that I could force another to follow the direction I feel would heal all, but sometimes the moment is just not ripe and I may simply not know best. The love lived, it was real, but sometimes people idealize themselves and are unable to do the hard work it takes to actually build a garden. And sometimes a field must lie fallow. Though I don't know which is needed, I know only that I am free and alive and it feels great.

Adventures: I spent several amazing days exploring Matagorda Bay, Matagorda Island, and Christmas Bay. Check out my photos.

  • I got to help band endangered Aplomado falcon chicks with the Peregrine Fund biologist Paul Juergen, and FWS biologist Chad Stinson taught me about the different shorebirds as we beachcombed on untrammeled Matagorda Island (found 2 unbroken sand dollars, 2 huge sharkeye shells, and many more). I was annoyed and dismayed by the trash that washes ashore and learned it comes directly from shrimp boats and offshore oil rigs and idiots throwing "messages in a bottle" off of cruise ships (don't do it! Its called littering!). I always thought beach trash was sort of a random bunch of stuff washing ashore from Timbuktu, but it has clear obvious sources. On the island, I saw a TX horned lizard and held a grass snake (I think snakes are utterly cool, but have a mild fear of holding them which I'm trying to overcome by holding them whenever the opportunity arises - "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain" -Ralph Waldo Emerson).

  • I got to explore all around Matagorda Bay with a TPW biologist Bill Balboa and saw where an active river delta is forming - such power. Bill gave me a sea bean that he found as we walked along Matagorda peninsula and said they are good luck in love. "Rub your sea bean," he assured me, "you will find that you will find what you want most when you least expect it." We seined and trawled for bay creatures - a sting ray, oodles of jellyfish, huge white shrimp and tiny grass shrimp, baby blue crabs, croakers that make a precious little croaky noise. Also visited and seined in Mad Island Marsh along the shoreline of Matagorda Bay. HARC intern Ruthanne came along and we had a great time!

  • Yesterday I kayaked Christmas and Drum Bay with Jim Blackburn who taught me how to wade fish in the marsh and oyster reefs. What a place of incredible serenity and vibrant with life. Herons, egrets, gulls, roseate spoonbills all in their places watching their nest or in some cases, performing elaborate mating rituals, full of raucous noise and chatterings that make up their lives. What an honor to witness a part of it. Jim caught two redfish and I caught a diminutive croaker and a small black drum - mostly by accident! I truly enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Name calling is the domain of limited minds. :)