A year ago yesterday I started writing this blog. All day yesterday I kept thinking, "I've got to sit down and write a blog." But there was so much other work to do. The cap'n just got home on Monday and his son and family are arriving today for a visit. There were sheets to wash and tubs to scrub, groceries to buy and cookies to bake and by the time I sat down to write this blog I was exhausted and the words just wouldn't come. But all day long a phrase kept whispering in my ear, it is a phrase that popped in my head the first time I didn't feel like blogging and it nags me every time I don't feel like writing, which is just about daily. The phrase is "First, do the work of the Lord." Or in my case, "First, do the work of your Co-Writer."
So this morning I'm here at the keyboard first thing and ignoring all those other duties that are calling my name. What a different girl is sitting at this computer this morning than was sitting here a year ago. A year ago I was despairing over a disastrous visit from my brother and his family in which I spent the first two days drunk and the next week withdrawing. That visit was a blessing in tormented disguise, it was what spurred me down the trail to my arrival at this morning where I am anticipating yet another family visit. Happily, hopefully, and unburdened.
I think I've mentioned that "Kary May" is not my real name, "Kary May" is not the real me. Kary May is more like a child that I have been carrying around on my back for years, decades actually. She is not my mother's child (my mother would have whipped her into shape a long time ago), she is a child that was born of my love affair with alcohol. She's the child I never talk about. I try to keep her from family gatherings because I can never predict how she's going to act. She can be the life of the party and make me glow with pride one moment and the next moment she can have me cringing with shame, wishing I could disappear. "She's not mine," I want to shout. "She's not me." She saps my strength and my will and she steals devotion from my other children and people and things I love. I start to resent her and then she'll do something endearing and my heart reignites with love for her. She has such a good heart. She'll call a friend at the spur of the moment, or send them an email just to say she was thinking of them. She'll make some over-the-top gesture for a friend, or even stranger, in need. She tries so hard but then she becomes an embarrassment with her over-zealous, and desperate theatrics to draw attention to herself and she humiliates me. She makes promises she won't keep and she shames me. I wish sometimes that I could just abandon her but she's mine to bear, she's my creation, an inescapable part of me.
A year ago I told Kary that she was getting too heavy for me to carry. I was bowed from her weight and I couldn't stand up straight anymore. She was slowing down my progress until I was at a standstill. I told her to get off. She clung with arms around my neck and legs wrapped about my waist, choking the life from me until I managed to loose her hold on me and leave her lying in the dust with her arms outstretched for me. I knew she was trailing behind me, but I was in the lead. There were times that I came upon an obstacle or a fork in the path and had to stop to figure out how to proceed and she managed to climb back up on my back. I would carry her until I stumbled and fell and couldn't get back up with her weight pinning me down. So I would buck her off and get back up and continue on. She's falling further and further behind now but I can still hear her calling for me to slow down, wait up, but her pleas are getting fainter. I know that there will be times that I'll miss her and there is a part of her I'll always carry with me but there are places I want to go and I can't take her with me.
So today I'm out there doing my best to widen my distance, avoiding the ruts in the road and keeping alert for any signs of an ambush. Gotta go, I hear the call of the toilet brush beckoning me.