Not sure how to move forward. My right is so comfortable and sure-footed.
My left, unsure, confused. Can’t quite remember how to move forward unbound.
I am asking them to align, to move in synchronicity. As partners.
I feel paralyzed.
I move about in my daily life thinking this isn’t it anymore. This no longer fits. The toe bites, the heel pinches.
Not sure how to make the leap, the crawl.
I am on parallel paths. Yet they are diverging.
My right foot steps so easily on practical, on survival. Yes, even with this new abundance, still with survival.
With a path long worn; I know how to navigate it.
Staying safe and protected, doing good work.
My left foot, she is fascinated by new possibilities, by roads unknown.
She listens with her heart wide open, needing to answer what calls.
It is hard to walk in this time of transition. So much grief at what has not been lived.
The temptation to fall back on muscle memory, mind memory.
This is what I do so easily. This is what I do so well.
The strokes that affirm, that feel so good.
I know it and it is comfortable.
Gasps of pain in my chest. At the thought of how often I have abandoned myself.
I said I wanted to live my life with arms wide open.
Get drunk on life.
Too many times, a life half-lived.
What we are taught as children.
The choices we make for survival.
When my husband died, he took not only my heart but his pension.
No life insurance, no Social Security.
I had to figure it out. Stay safe.
So yes, we veered to the right. We marched and crawled to the right.
Is there room for forgiveness?
Then my mama’s illness pulling me into the grave.
So yes again, to the right. To keep my head above water. To keep both of us afloat.
That too was necessary.
So much grief. So much anger.
The right foot is not accustomed to following. She is keenly used to leading.
But it is time to shift patterns in this dance.
My right foot wears brown loafers. My left wears red stilettos.
Lefty is not unknown to me. She burns bright and hot when I let her.
And I know I have been brave, very brave.
As I ponder this invitation to move differently, I think maybe it is not a red stiletto, but a bare foot naked against the ground.
Feeling the power and the heat of the earth as she walks.
The coolness of the grass, the softness of the sand, the squishiness of the mud.
She relishes it, rolls around, and gets dirty in it.
Races and dances on it.
As she looks to the future there is no path there.
There is no tread already laid.
She is having to make her own way. The pull of it so strong.
Looking back at what she has known. Hesitating, panting with a bit of panic.
Before pulling off her loafer and stepping out, barefoot onto a path unfolding.
Here is where I am.
Perhaps still needing to grieve for what wasn’t allowed. What was lost to me.
Angry at those who conveniently kept her chained.
Angry at myself for allowing it for so long.
Needing to allow for all of that. All of that.
It is only with permission to feel all of that, and forgiveness, that I will come to live with all aspects honored and respected.