Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

As I slog along in life, it always throws me when just a smell or a place or a person can propel me into a hellish period of my past, one of many temporal nodes decorating life’s stress lines.  At those moments, when my spirit is overtaken by such an unbidden mnemonic, I am returned, violently, to a place of powerlessness.  The memory overwhelms, not just current reality, but erases for the time being all the self-growth, the va-et-vient of character as it is hammered-and-tonged in the forge of life.  It all sounds too precious, I know, but the return to that place of suppression of self, of terror of doing the wrong thing (by someone else’s lights, not yours, never yours and so how do you know if and when you’re doing their “wrong”?) or of  being abused for inscrutable and clearly irrational reasons, paralyzes the soul.  You are back there where there is no escape, no justice, no appeal to reason and all recourse is just a hollow calling out into the dark of the night where no one will hear and no help is about.  All the wisdom you’ve hoarded and transformed into the personal inner resources you call upon to rescue that damaged, deadly memory seem to have gone on the lam somewhere–somewhere, anyway, where you can’t access and apply them.   And then, not quickly but quick enough, in an uneasy dance of abatement and return, the ugliness lifts and is gone, and you are back…back to yourself, the self you’ve cultivated carefully over the years, the self that was supposed to put an end to such dark incursions.  Oh well.  Step away and move onward.  The boogeyman has gone to sleep…for now.  On another, distantly related note, I recently read:   Don’t let people become a priority in your life when you are just an option in theirs. It was synchronicitous for me to read this just at this moment because sometimes we lose sight of the goal; we lose sight of what we’re fighting for (in my case, horse safety) and suddenly realize that while we’re working towards that goal, another shadowy kind of goal has been slouching alongside and has taken some of that formidable energy for itself.  It can get lonely standing out there on a soapbox all by yourself, so you start to move toward joining a team–a team of like-minded people–but a team which is not really a team, doesn’t have the attributes of teamwork–just an assortment of people who are as genuinely devoted as you are, but just don’t want you playing in their sandbox. It’s disheartening:  in fact, if I had less of an opinion of myself and my passion to save horses from abuse and slaughter, I’d crawl into a foetal position and do what many people do:  just tolerate the endless tumbling of day into night until death ends their passive existence.  But I didn’t, and I haven’t and I won’t.  Let me repeat that:  Don’t let people become a priority in your life when you are just an option in theirs.  I didn’t, I haven’t and I won’t.  End-stop.


  1. sgabello per batteria
    Sep 25, 2011

    Hi, this is a great post! Thanks..

    • Cynthia
      Sep 30, 2011

      Molti grazie (is that right?)…Keep reading and commenting.

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