Monday, October 24, 2016

Chop Wood Carry Water

You know how some dog owners use a colored leash and collar to indicate a dog's mood?

You probably don't, if I read that sentence, I'd be like, "What in the hell is she talking about?" and I know. 

But some people use a yellow leash to ask you to approach with caution, or a red one to ask you to stay away.

I feel like I need that as a person. Like on some days, I will have a green signal -- I will indulge old men in boring conversations, tell random strangers they look nice today, allow people to cut me in line, and I'll be quick with a smile and greeting.

On yellow days, it would be great if people would approach slowly and speak quietly. Don't try to pet me unless I'm already wagging my tail. On yellow days I long for closeness and company while also being cautious, and I'm not sure if I want to lick you or bite you. 

On red days, stay the fuck away. It won't end well, and now that you've been warned I won't be held liable either. 

Currently, my wardrobe would be a sea of yellow. I don't know if it's the election or my age or my life experiences but people feel increasingly dangerous. It's harder to be a green, and as a naturally gregarious and outgoing person, this onslaught of yellow is damaging. Yellow is ugly. I want to love people and they make it so difficult.

I feel like my heart is a small fire and everyone is walking around with either buckets of water or kindling but I can't tell which until I get too close and they've sloshed themselves all over me. 

And my own bucket of kindling is damp and dwindling, so sometimes other people seek me out for more warmth and flame and I accidentally put out their fire too. It can take a lot to get the inferno going again, and I feel bad I don't have enough to help at the present moment.

I also don't have much energy for hunting and gathering. The dampness invites darkness, and I find myself flirting with it -- just the big eyes and fluttery lashes during the day, but nighttime brings whispered promises of a greater commitment, a longing to stay in bed wrapped up in the silky cobwebs of fogginess together forever and safe from the unpredictability of the world. Depression is a tempting lover (but not a satisfying one, and so I remind myself to stay away).

The people with water in their buckets have a lot of water right now too, more than they can carry, and maybe they need to pour some out. I want that for them; for them to dump it all out, triumphantly and forever until they are drip-dried, but my fire is so small right now that I can't let them do it near me and I avoid them and their potential sogginess altogether.

So the people with the good bits have to give out lots of it, the people with damp material are busy spreading it thin and keeping it safe, and the people with water buckets are just carelessly splashing all over the place. 

And a warning signal probably wouldn't stop them anyway. 

I've been trying to tell those closest to me to approach with caution right now, fearful that they will drop their bucket and run, maybe splashing me in the process. Most of them have admitted that their fires are small right now too. That the gathering takes so much more work lately and that they find themselves slipping into the comfort of protecting the small flame they already have versus creating something brighter and more lasting. 

My friends aren't moody like I can be, so maybe it's the current state of affairs. Sad, as an unwise man has said four thousand times on Twitter.

And the ones who spilled on me in response were just showing me what was in their bucket -- not in a mean way, but in a "I'm not the warm, dry stuff you're seeking. See this red I'm wearing?" kind of way.

Please be mindful of your bucket right now. If you have extra kindling, shower fires with it freely. If your bucket is heavy, find a way to relieve your burden without getting other people wet. 

Also, I'm sorry if you're in my real life and have seen my yellow, and wondered if it was your bucket I've been avoiding. 

If you can be the green in the ocean of yellow and red, now is your time to shine, people. In the meantime, I will kill myself to collect kindling instead of succumbing to cobwebs in the hope that one day I have enough to share again too.

(But I'll never stop with the overly involved metaphors that make little sense. Sorry.) 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your metaphors. I never know what you're talking about but I always know what you mean. I agree that life is tense lately, may all of our fires burn brighter soon. Yours is brighter than you think though. (:

Melanie said...

Amen, sister. Amen! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

The Heron Group said...

I completely get the metaphors and am a-okay with being yellow.