Silently In The Night: A Moment With Bill Reflection
Close Your Eyes and Sleep
“I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams... Man... is above all the plaything of his memory.”
Silently in the night, the past creeps underneath the door jamb of my bedroom. It slithers across the floorboards and caresses me as I fall gently into slumber. As the here and now fades from view, voices and scenes from days gone by become my companions, and I welcome them as one would welcome old friends, with a loving embrace and a smile.
They do not come to harm me though once I believed they would. They do not come to frighten me, to chastise me, or to lecture me, though once I believed that was their purpose.
Tonight they will come bearing gifts, as they always do, gifts of wondrous adventures and lessons learned, of unconditional love and lifelong friendships.
I am blessed, and although it took seemingly forever for me to realize it, I always have been blessed....and always will be.
So Many Lessons to Learn
Five senses we all have, and each sense a culmination of millions of receptors. Those receptors engage, they categorize, they memorize and they file away for future use. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the beneficial, the detrimental, the harmful and the jubilant; all downloaded into our memory banks to be called upon in the future.
They are all lessons. The time we placed our hand on a hot burner. The time we jumped from the garage roof and broke our arm. The time we were rejected by a girl, the time we first kissed a girl, the time we lost at love and the time we found everlasting love; all there to serve and protect our sleeping hero nestled underneath his quilt.
Restless slumber, peaceful slumber, invasions of thoughts and memories, worries and triumphs; silently in the night they come stealing. Toss and turn, kick the covers, turn that pillow over, find a position that works for body, mind and soul, and then close your eyes once more and welcome the past, for it never really leaves us, and it never really intends to harm us. Harm only comes….angst only comes….pain only comes….when we allow it to happen.
A beautiful song to set you free
Are You out of Your Mind?
How about this you say? I was abused as a child. I was invaded, crushed, and violated at an age when life should have been about Barbies and tea parties. Not harmful you say? Good memories you say? Bull*&%# I say! Were you ever abused, Bill? Were you ever manipulated so that trust and love at taken from your life in one nightmarish act of selfishness and betrayal?
No, I have not been abused. I have no clue. I have no frame of reference. I have no way to truly emphasize with that kind of crushing misery.
I only know this: if we do not find a way to take a positive lesson from our pain, then that act of extreme violation will continue to harm us until the day we die.
The Ghosts of Shadowed Rafters
No, I have not been abused; I do, however, have my ghosts. We all do. It is not necessary that each of us suffer from every imaginable wrong in order for us to understand emotional and physical and psychological pain. Pain does not vary. Pain is pain. We all react to it; we all understand it; we all learn to cope with it, deal with it and yes, overcome it.
Ghosts! Tuck them away for a rainy day; don’t look at them and they will disappear for awhile. Shove them in that closet and whisper their names only when it is safe to do so. All well and good until one day, often times when we least expect it, those ghosts will pound on that door, pound on that door, kick and claw and pound on that door, and when the breach has been accomplished, when those ghosts are shrieking through your mind with no protection to be found, then and only then will you have to deal with them.
And deal with them you must if you are ever to enjoy the restful slumber that is your birthright.
An important message for all
And so we overcome the screeching banshees with an army of Caspers. We take to bed with us the good memories. We nurture those moments like when your child told you that she loved you. You grab hold of that time a teacher gave you encouragement, and you remember the sweetness of a first kiss with Tommy from down the street.
You wrap your arms around the triumphs, the times you overcame hardships despite incredible odds. We high-five the times we tossed aside our fears and moved forward with sweat turning to blood and the bowels threatening to empty. We fist-bump flashbacks to the good we have done in life, for surely it greatly overwhelms the bad we have done. We give a shout out to old loves, to new loves, and to loves we have yet to experience, and we enlist their aid in kicking the crap out of those old memories of cheating and lying and trust-busting.
We remember the times we loved ourselves, and we photocopy it in our minds and call upon it daily…hourly….by the minute….whenever it is needed, a drop of water to a man thirsting in the desert, a life jacket to a woman drowning in five inches of water, loving ourselves is the first and most important cure when dealing with the screaming willy nillies of the past, and kicking their sorry butts out of our sleeping chamber and allowing us to smile in slumber.
This song is my favorite lullaby
No It Is Not Easy
But seriously, what of value is ever easy to attain. What priceless treasure comes without a cost? How badly do you want peace of mind? How badly do you want to put a chokehold on the negatives, suck them dry of whatever lessons they hold, and then raise your arms in triumph like Rocky standing proud upon the towering steps of Philadelphia Museum of Art?
There is so much of life still waiting to be lived. There are so many wonders yet to behold. There are so many opportunities and adventures waiting for you; don’t you think doing all of that would be more easily attained if you slept soundly with the past?
There is no refusing them entry. They will be there each night, un-beckoned and demanding an audience after you close your eyes. Will you welcome them? Will you learn from them? Will you embrace them as a part of your overall tapestry of life, or will you cringe in horror, shame and fear at the mere glimpse of their shadow?
The choice is yours and yours alone.
Forgive and move on.
Love and move on.
Sleep well and move on.
Golden slumbers to you all.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”