Friday, November 8, 2013
Closure Sails in on a Musical Flow
I felt a sudden appreciation for the first time I heard the song. I awakened in a room I didn't recognize with the song playing in the background. I realized it was the first full night of sleep I'd had in a long time. I was alone. While it was morning, it was too early to get up so I went back to sleep. My life was in a bad place at the time, and I struggled to make sense of everything around me. Somehow the simplicity of the song, the message of "sailing away" soothed my chaotic mind and heart.
I often equate the song with the beginning of a relationship, loosely speaking, that wasn't what one would call healthy. I've long considered the relationship in a very negative light for myriad reasons that overshadowed any good moments it brought to my life.
Interestingly, as I listened to Orinoco Flow recently, those good moments came back. It's not that I've forgotten the bad or want to reconnect with the person who introduced me to Orinoco Flow. Simply put, I finally found it in my heart to appreciate the person for being what I needed at a time when I didn't know what I needed. He listened to my story without judgment. He offered me a place to get something in short supply - sleep. He gave me space by not asking me to give what I didn't have to give. He showed me fun even if I stood on the sidelines rather than engaging. He never tried to change me. He came along at a time when I thought love and even friendship were all about pain and betrayal. He never tried to change my thoughts on the matter. He was just there and not there at the same time. And, oddly, thinking back, perhaps that truly is what I needed then.
Even the bad stuff may have been exactly what I needed at the time. He pushed me against my boundaries until I could no longer stand in the shadows and stood up to him. Perhaps intentionally or perhaps he was just a jerk. I've long thought he was just a jerk. He often bordered on being disrespectful but then he'd be very tender and caring. He played games with my emotions, but I was too numb to really notice. He vacillated between being overly attentive and incredibly dismissive. He didn't care that I didn't care.
Somehow this relationship, while incredibly unhealthy, also gave me a relatively safe place to be self-destructive until I discovered a reason to want to live again.
Sometimes we know longer know we're holding on to negativity until that moment when some benign moment, like a song, releases it.
As Orinoco Flow flowed from my speakers, I felt a peace about that time that I'd never felt before and
along with it I felt an appreciation for the role that person played in my life even though it still seems a bit strange to feel that appreciation.
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.