Monday, July 23, 2012

He Is Gifted In The Art Of Alchemy

A photo from our weekend backpacking trip to Packard Lake, The Uintas

Do you remember that scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's when Holly Golightly (played by the eternally enchanting Audrey Hepburn) explains to her friend Paul Varjak that she doesn't get the blues so much as the mean reds?

"The blues are because you're getting fat, and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of."

I get the mean reds, too. Out of nowhere they latch onto my body, beleaguering my bones and suffocating my cells. They make my guts feel crowded and dizzy. It's like a giant bruise, spreading purple and pulsing. For several days this week I was battling my way through a mean red onslaught. I was feeling angry and trapped. Most maddening of all was that I couldn't figure out why my world felt cracked.

I went to CHB's house on Sunday to seek some refuge, but only ended up feeling angrier. For hours I tried to explain my bruise to him and bruised him in the process--as the mean reds are anything but elegant. Finally, in a moment of total vulnerability and exhaustion, I said to CHB, "I don't like myself." And I didn't. Not in that moment. Not with all of the clumsy and cruel thrashing about that I was doing.

Without missing a beat he walked over to me--me who was crouched in the chair like some frightened animal--and held on tightly.

I cried hard into his shirt. He laid his hands on my back.

I said, "I feel alone."

He said, "I'm here."

And the three days of darkness left. Up to the sky they flew, swift and immediate. My cracked world let in the light. My bones sighed, my cells expanded, and my guts relaxed. Every drop of venom pulsing through my veins went sweet. It was nothing less than alchemy.

In that moment, I thought back to my dissolved marriage and the ways in which the man I chose to love ten years ago was not interested in tending the bruise but only intensifying it.

Then I thought forward to the man I'm choosing to love now. His heart is crystalline. He is a healer of bruised spirits. His love changes me. It's clear, he is gifted in the art of alchemy.


jenn said...

Goodness, i love this. I love you. I love reading your writing. Thank you for coming back and writing more. wonderful. just absolutely wonderful.

Nessa said...


llcall said...

Tears. Happy ones.

Gina said...

Ah those mean reds. I know those as well. I am so grateful to have a husband who does for me what CHB did for you. He's worth hanging on to. Those are the moments that inspire me to do for him what he has done for me, and that makes all the difference in marriage! I am happy for you. Thank for putting words to emotions I have difficulty finding ways to express!

Jen said...

Beautiful. How wonderful that CHB is so nurturing and forgiving.

Narrating the Beauty said...

Love you, Krisanne! Even when you don't like yourself. Because, by admitting that, you prove you're human, and I really like people who are courageous enough to be Openly Human. I'm Openly Human, too. It's messy. But so much better than the perpetually perky alternative. You and CHB deserve each other, and I mean that in the most loving, supportive way.

Krisanne said...

I am blessed to have him in my life, indeed! And blessed to have all of you.

Miss Irene said...

I love your blog, Krisanne! I just ended a relationship with someone who I believe was an intensifier. He manipulated me to feel onus and guilt for every negative aspect of our relationship. I hope that in my next relationship, I find myself an alchemist who will provide the soothing green to neutralize my mean reds. I am so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post, Krisanne. I love your openness to experience: you never hide your vulnerabilities and that's a quality I admire most in you. When you experience strong emotions you experience them with such intensity; but it's your ability to articulate the emotion that is so special. You really are magical with words.

I am glad you have found the love of your life. A healer of bruised spirits is more rare than gold dust. Precious indeed!


Star Crossed said...

God is The Great Alchemist, but He can work His magic through those who are willing conduits. You have found a willing conduit, and that is what is marvelous. Internal alchemy can happen without the help of another, but when you find someone who is willing and open to help, life is sweet. If there comes a time or an instance when he is not able to act as alchemist, remember Who the Source is, truly. Go there, remember we are all human, and love him regardless. Love you both!