I had another midnight visitor Friday, Sir Bats A Lot II.
After much careful containment and completely stripping my room and closets – Saturday afternoon I discovered him huddled in the last place I looked…behind the Lego tub at the bottom of closet #2. Rather than run shrieking about as I had done with Sir Bats A Lot The First, I called my best friend and asked her to stand with me while I evicted this tiny brown bat. I did it. We did it.
It wasn’t pretty or completely without freaking out, but I did it in good company.
Later, I realized that something had shifted in me and that for the first time in over a year, I had been thinking about my future with some ambition. Hmmm. Up until then, I had thought all ambition had been mortally poisoned in the intimate violence of the recent past.
Since then, while ambling through the streets of Purpleville, I keep thinking about what had changed and what this might mean.
I realize that I am closer to accepting the death of the many many dreams that had been nurtured during the length of a life and the breath of a season.
Realistically, I could have captured the bat alone – we were both freaked out enough for that. But something about having Katie stand with and walk beside me during that ordeal brought courage in her good company.
Both bats were unexpected and uninvited.
I was afraid of them.
I resented their mess, the mess it would take to find and evict them, and having to deal with the outcome and residual fear.
I was tired of not being able to manage what all of this may look or sound like from the outside…this freaking out.
This was not how I had planned to spend two of the last three July weekends.
Not at all.
I had dreams once; dreams of family that loved and played and supported one another from before conception until death. When we, three, first found ourselves on our own, I was mired in fear and freaking out; humiliation and embarrassment. M & K are terrific people. We are still growing together as one of us completes a final year of college and two of us are looking for a more intentional “what’s next”? We did okay.
When leaving the security and long creative and successful hours of the Zoo, I was so afraid that I was abandoning my kids, reason, and – quite frankly – all hope for a great love. K got a good glimpse of this while we drove across country in a truck with faltering lights and hauling my car on a dolly. There was some freaking out – despite the excitement and assurances that this was a good life decision. (Sorry Kentuckians.) We made it to Georgia okay, though a wee bit frazzled.
And most recently dreams of great love and co-service and the chance to support others who – in sincere humility – offer hope, fresh water, comfort, and life were lost in a darkening storm. After that dream exploded in pernicious and twisted violence, all I had left was escape and self-rescue.
Sometimes, I had to decide if I wanted to make it out alive knowing that the scars and effects of that short season would always be present within and without. All I can say is that I’m still vertical.
So this last weekend’s post-bat revelation of – for the first time in over a year – something akin to hope was such a surprise. It was almost as if the numbness and pain were both completely absent for a few sweet courageous moments.
Though it’s not completely clear or solid yet, I realized that this death of dream and walk through the miasma of doubts, fears, frustration, and regret is connected to forgiveness – in me at least. And this is dependent as much as forgiveness is in accepting that no other history will ever happen except the one that already has.
Because of the return of Sir Bats A Lot buzzing about my head late at night and the messy unsettling work of returning it to the wild, I learned to want acceptance and grief to finally release me into forgiveness so I can dream again.
It will take a while.
Until then, I am still looking for the North Star.