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Out of the Ashes

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by frost.  From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king."  ~~J.R.R. Tolkien

I feel good most days.  Except for the still too frequent migraine headaches, I am well.  Well in body, spirit, and mind.  

I do not look backward much these days.  I know what is back there.  I was there not so long ago, and I have no desire to return -- not even to those days I once considered "good" before all the fragile visions came crashing down around our heads.

I worked to get to this place, in this time, feeling as I do.  I worked hard, enduring bitterness and rage and fear and pain.  I spent hours and hours sitting with my therapist (worker of wonders and miracles large and small), while she dragged me through defining what I wanted, what I needed, what I would and would not have in my life.  I read everything that I could get my hands on related to addiction and trauma and recovery and how the brain works and how relationships work -- and how they don't.  I lived through a long, dry, solitary time when the relationship at the very center of my life seemed nearly moribund, and from my dryness, I cried a deep, rushing, turbulent, and ultimately cleansing river of tears.  The night came to be my friend, holding me quiet and close while I pondered what had been and what was and what might yet come to be.  I learned that I am fashioned of sturdiness and steadfastness and an unreasonable capacity for hope.  I was not all that I would have wished to be ... I crumpled; whined; and tried to run away on more than one occasion.  I found that I am utterly human:  sometimes foolish, sometimes wise; sometimes strong and sometimes very fragile; amazingly bright and shockingly stupid; capable of constructing great towering, philosophical castles in the sky and prone to kicking the whole thing down as though it were nothing but a pile of child's building blocks.  

I came into this part of my life, some dozen years ago, a rather jumbled up intellectual, spiritual, and emotional mess.  I carried secrets, harbored doubts, defended my woundedness with blind ferocity.  I wanted someone to take me in and give me definition, make me belong, and keep me safe.  Even as a "mature" woman, in my late 40s and 50s, I never, ever understood that finding where I belonged and building the place where I'd be safe were my own responsibilities.  I abrogated those obligations to myself, and so I laid the fire that would consume my world -- and I lit the match myself.  

The work of the last couple of years has taught me that I belong to me.  I can share what and who I am ... and I do that joyously and generously in the places where it makes sense.  My teaching is built on that giving from the deep well of self.  My love for Himself seeks out and longs for that overflowing of the gift that is my truest self.  It remains the core attraction of the BDSM lifestyle for me -- the energy and fulfillment that comes from being able to relax and trust and give it all.  I am proud to know what I know, and I am proud to be here.  I do not know what the numbers are, but I am certain that most relationships, confronted with what we have passed through in these last two years, crumble to dust.  That ours did not is not merely a matter of great good luck -- we earned this, and I want to shout that from the rooftops.

I should be clear that I am alone in feeling this way.  My loves are not likely to endorse my Pollyanna-ish willingness to see life as good and full of promise -- and claim the right to brag and dance gleefully over the discovery.  That is all me.  T and Himself are at different places, and they will have to describe that if they choose to do so.  I can only see what I can see of what I have come to.  I want to drag everyone along to this place.  I want to put my hands on my hips and push out my lower lip and stomp my foot about finding myself here without them...and then some quiet voice (my own quiet inside voice) reminds me that each of us is learning our own lessons and walking our own paths.  I don't get to define what is "good" or "healing" or "best" for anyone but me.

Tolkein's words speak to me of the long view of things; of not projecting too far from here into the future; of trusting the deep roots and the strong foundations; and of believing that there is renewal of what is broken.  The phoenix will rise from the ashes.  "The crownless shall again be king."



  1. Perhaps the most important lesson for all of us as well as the most difficult... I don't get to define what is "good" or "healing" or "best" for anyone but me.

    Well said Sue.


  2. This is such a powerful piece of writing dear. I found myself nodding as I read it, recognising not only your story in it but also some of ours for very different reasons. Only when we are able to stand strong within our own lives can we truly and fully give of ourselves to those we love.

    love and hugs xxx

  3. There are many lessons for all of us in this entry... Hard lessons, life lessons, and healing lessons. thsnk you for sharing your feelings and giving me hope and lots to think about.
    hugs abby

  4. It sounds like you are in a good place, and going in a good direction in your journey.

  5. This was so good to read swan - that you are rounding the curve in the road and coming to a straight way ahead ...... made me smile and feel warm inside.

    BUT reading your words over these past months - i have found myself - from time to time - wondering mostly about T (Himself does post from time to time - so I get a feeling for where he is)

    I can't help but wonder some days how T is doing - how she is fixing stuff in her way - healing in her way........... send her hugs from me please.... and tell her i am thinking of her :)

    1. morningstar -- T, of course, has her own story to tell if she chooses to do that. I am trying to be very conscious of telling my story, as much as it is possible to disentangle my feelings and experiences. I am sorry. I know that doesn't do what you want in this case, but I don't feel that it is my place to discuss where T is on her own journey.


    2. oh swan - i never expected you to answer for her....... not at all! i was just trying to say that she is often in my thoughts - as are you and Himself ........ and hoping you would tell her i am thinking of her..

      nothing more...

  6. swan,

    This was lovely to read. Thinking of you often.


  7. Power filled writing, indeed :)


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