When I was a boy I often had a dream that there were two rows of giants standing along a path that I had to walk. All they did was scream at me. Fear, waking up with continuous waves of chills, unmoving in my bed. I quit dreaming this when I was a teenager, but I have not stopped remembering it. I bravely walked that path, never considering just saying no.
I think I couldn’t say no. No defines boundaries and I put boundaries around things I value. I now understand something about my worth, at least in this moment if not in the cosmic sense. Who knows about that. Somehow I bought the belief I had no worth and so no was a useless tool in my kit. Maybe it was original sin. I learned about that a very young age and got stuck on my intrinsic badness. Once I got saved I didn’t really buy my new found goodness–which descends all of a sudden on the five year old boy at First Assembly of God on a Sunday night baptism service. Somehow the badness just hung around, a miasma, a cloak. The trade was lost on my young psyche.
I have gone back, retraced the steps along that path. I have claimed my ”Is-ness”. I is. ( I certainly would not claim I am, which takes a lot of pressure off.) I am here and I have the space I take up on the planet and that seems to buy me the right to say yes and no. I don’t have to dig claw marks into a ridiculous pathway without a choice.
I believe the process of claiming/discovering self worth is one of the necessary human journeys. Maybe it comes naturally for some, but I think very few. We can try to convince each other of it, but in the end, I either decide I have earned my spot of clay here on the planet or I don’t. I is.
Bend, OR 2010, Nikon D700, natural light