Monday, October 28, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Most of the time when I look in the mirror I see the aging face of a forty-something mother of two.  One who can see many mistakes made on the road o this life getting to this point.  The face of a woman lined with every regret she's known, every disappoint felt (mostly with herself).

Now and again the reflection in the mirror has the eyes of a teenage girl who holds vast dreams.  she sees beauty in simple everyday joys.  her greatest joy being creating nothing from thin air.  She started doing it as a child, creating vivid ever changing landscapes full of people different from those she knew in everyday life.  This was her escape.  It was an escape from every form of pain she knew.  She could use this form of escape even when she couldn't open a book.  Sometimes especially when she couldn't.

Sometimes when I see her eyes she's happy, usually over some simple amusement.  A baby laughing.  A favorite old song on the radio.  A sky filled with more stars than she ever remembered seeing.

Other times her eyes are begging me to remember.  Remember not the pain and suffering but the defense mechanism they triggered.  Remember the joy of creation.  Remember the dream it spawned of doing this every day for the rest of her life.  To make this her life.

She pleads with me.  Yet I feel divided as one whose soul has been split to walk down separate roads.  I look away partly because her pleading breaks my heart but mostly out of fear.  Life caught up with me, overtook me, pushed me to believe that failure was worse than death.  I separated myself from her by taking a different name.  My life was severed.  Here lies the girl who dreamed.  Here lies the woman who lived.

Still, when I see her eyes I know what's she's saying:  "Life without truly living avoids failure but is its own kind of death."  I never wanted to die.  Not like this, letting the fear overwhelm me.

Escape is found more easily in the digital age.  But damn if those eyes don't call me back to an earlier escape.  An escape more pure and sweet than honey.