If you pluck a handful of ambiguous seeds from a bucket and plant them, will they still grow, even if you have no idea what the harvest will produce? Yes, they will. Believe me when I tell you it requires very little tending for tiny seeds of elusive origin to grow into a ferocious, wild harvest.
In my teen years I found myself with a few odd grains of bewildering truth deep in my pockets of thought. I pulled them out and began to wonder what they were, where they had come from and why I owned them. I turned the perplexing seeds of memory this way and that and could not for the life of me decipher their meaning. I began to refer to them as ‘the strangeness’. I shared them with a few of my friends, but my disjointed seeds of memory often caused looks of disbelief, sometimes derision, and occasionally distress. It didn’t take me long to learn these particular seeds needed to stay tucked away.
That would have been great had I been wise enough to understand that hidden seeds still contain life. All they need to grow is a little light, which I had unwittingly provided by pulling them out to study them. I gave them reprieve from years of dark dormancy and these enigmatic seeds were now unsheathed. Once they came to light their only other imperative was a need for moisture; tears work just fine for this required element.
At family events, and over the course of maybe 20 or so years, my elusive grains of memory took on their deceptively masked shapes, growing into campfire tales of ghosts and alien encounters. Often I would tell my young nieces and nephews my story about how my nosebleeds were possibly caused by an alien implant or how the scar on the inside of my right leg was the same scar other’s who had experienced close encounters of the third kind wore on their bodies. We talked at length about dreams and ESP and sometimes marveled that Lark had dreamed about the death of Uncle Rob just a few hours before we got the phone call telling us he had passed away. Our shared dream of the red car inevitably came up during these conversations, and Lark and I would look at each other, reaching yet a little further inward for understanding.
I seldom shared anything about the blue lights, the blood oranges, or the goblins, although I did confide in my sisters when we were adults. These particular memories never grew less frightening with the sharing. In fact, the closer they came to a full harvest the more desperate I was to disavow them, to cut them down. I could never bring myself to tell my mom, although much later, near the end of the therapy years, I found the courage to tell my father. I needed him to know because he held a very important part of my healing, but my mom…the terrible harvest would have poisoned her. She would have tried to save me by ingesting blame like a food. She couldn’t have saved me from the past and it most certainly would have destroyed her.
My beautiful, kind mother knew how to wield guilt like a Samurai Sword. She was a master at meting out sharp pangs of conscientiousness and spared no one, especially herself. Her wounds could hit all the way to the heart and her own was often bloody and bruised by her rigid, determined hand. I knew instinctively that I could never let her know I had been a tiny victim of sexual abuse at the hand of her sister’s husband, especially when I had been placed in their home during a time one of mom’s bouts with depression landed her in the hospital. She would not only reap that harvest with awful wrath, but she would make a pie of its spoiled fruit and devour it herself, thinking she was saving me from it’s crumbs.
How could I own such destructive seeds of strangeness? How could I let them sprout to full fruition? I did everything within my power to cut them to the quick, but I wasn’t alone in the garden and could not claim control of the monsters flowering there any more than I could with their rooting.
Today’s word is elusive: