BACK TO THE SKY

blue angel

I found this stone angel on the street a few years back. Her little wings had snapped off and she had been dumped in the lane way. She looked desolate when I found her, downcast, abject. She quickly became a metaphor for my life at the time. I kept her by the door leading to the garden, smiling whenever I saw the sun catch her head or butterflies fly close enough to touch her. She became a symbol of tenacity and resilience. She still is.

Three years and two houses later, my stone angel still sits in the sun and watches for butterflies. Her wings remain lost but still she goes on. We are more alike than ever, my angel and I.

I haven’t written here for two years. It staggers me when I think about it.  TWO WHOLE YEARS. Two years that seem to be lost. I wonder if all my observations, ideas and readers are lost too –  just like the angel’s wings.

My marriage ended. A man I loved for 27 years betrayed me. The reasons are irrelevant now but the sting of the betrayal lingers around the back of my neck and shoulders. I can’t shake it off. It is a noose pulling me backwards, tugging. When you trust someone absolutely and they betray you – that is worse than a knife in the chest. You hate them, you hate the world, you hate yourself. You hate everything so much that the noose tightens and tightens and tightens and your wings snap right off.

For a long time I couldn’t fly even If I had the power to. I couldn’t even look up at the sky to see the sights I love so well. The ground was all I wanted. The cracks in the footpath. Leaves crushed underfoot. Bugs making a break for the bushes, rubbish lodged in the gutter by the backwash from traffic. It fed my misery, this ground dwelling. It was ugly but comfortable. Part of me liked it even though most of me shied away from it.

I wanted to look at the sky so badly. I could feel the sun on my hands and head but I didn’t dare turn my eyes towards it. I wanted to punish myself for being betrayed, I wanted to tie myself to the dark because surely if someone I knew and loved so well could betray me like that I deserved it. It was the only reason I could think of.

Having to do things is what takes you back to the sky. Having to find a new place to live. Having to find a new job. Having to have money and food and clean clothes and to show your son that you can get up, you can look away from the ground and turn your eyes to the deep, vivid blue once more.

Having to do things saved me from the dark.

That act of betrayal nearly killed me but at the same time it gave me back something that had been lost for years. As the sky loomed closer and closer I saw it –  small as as boat on the horizon at first – then larger and larger standing right in front of me. I would have shaken its hand if I could. It had been lost for so long, I had missed it, dull and fingermarked, held captive by the needs of another; but there it was shining and beckoning just like it used to, on its way to being fully restored – my sense of self. In losing one thing we often get back another. I now know that to be the truth.

On sunny days my angel and I sit, still wingless but not unable to soar. The sky is no longer out of our reach. We see it. We know it. No longer bound to where our feet fall we gaze, breaking free from the asphalt, looking up to the light.

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23 thoughts on “BACK TO THE SKY

  1. You’re a survivor Selma and a damned good writer! Finding your Self is one of the great purposes of life and a constant journey I am sure – hello to You and a big hug for being You 😀 (and some mixed lollies as well because what is life without a bag of mixed lollies hey!) xo luvya

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    1. Life is not worth living without an enormous bag of mixed lollies, Gabe (don’t forget the ripe raspberries and pineapple chunks. haha). Thank you for all your support throughout this terrible time. I couldn’t have done it without you xxx

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  2. Well my dear Selma…I’m still here along with your other friends and looking forward to hearing more from you…years ago I had a similar thing happen…I survive and prospered…and so shall you!

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  3. What a spectacular return piece, this is the Selma I know and love!! “‘In losing one thing we often get back another.” Profoundly true, I learned it the same way you did, in losing a relationship and a marriage I had worked so hard at, I rediscovered myself, and what an amazing experience it was! I am so delighted to see you beginning to heal, looking at the sky again and seeing how beautiful it really is. Life can be better than ever before, I testify to that, and I pray it becomes your experience too! XOXO, Josie

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    1. You have taught me so much, Josie. I know how hard it was for you and look at you now – so happy and so in love. Thank you for being there for me through all this. It has meant so much. I am so grateful to you xxxx

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  4. You’ve been missed sunshine and I’m so sorry for the ugliness that you’ve had to experience. Your bravery and courage are legendary though and keep looking up, the wind is whispering your name and promising great things xx

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    1. You are awesome. I like to think iIm brave even though I sometimes feel like a scared little girl who wants to hide under the covers. I will keep looking up and listening to the wind always. Love you xxxx

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    1. Hearing from you made me cry, Iain. We often share opposing political views and sometimes you get me going in that sense but I know what a good person and what a kind person you are. I so admire your intelligence, wit and passion to make things better. I can’t tell you what hearing from you today has meant to me. Thank you, your Tree Hugging Friend in Sydney xxxx

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  5. Oh Selma I was thrilled to see a new post from you! I knew you’d be back. I never lost hope that you’d find your way back and oh! what a come back!

    “As the sky loomed closer and closer I saw it – small as as boat on the horizon at first – “and

    “I had missed it, dull and fingermarked, held captive by the needs of another; but there it was shining and beckoning just like it used to, on its way to being fully restored – my sense of self”

    This is pure Selma!

    Not to worry my dear, you have not lost your ideas, observations or your ability to hold us, your beloved readers,in thrall!

    It’s just wonderful to know you’re on the road back!

    (P.s This did not show up in my feedly perhaps another tech glitch? I deleted your blog and readded it with the same result. Thank goodness for Facebook or I’d not have known you’d posted!)

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    1. You have always been one of my greatest cheerleaders, Cathy. I don’t know what I would do without you. Thank you for mentioning that my writing was up to par – I was so worried I had lost the ability – that would have been too much on top of everything else.

      I am wondering if the feed didn’t show up because I bought the domain name – it used to be selmaininthecity.wordpress.com now it’s selmainthecity.com I’m moving up in the world baby!

      Thanks for being there for me, Cathy. You are amazing xxxx

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  6. Sel-Belle, Your observations and ideas were waiting patiently for you in the garden, keeping company with your stone angel. Your readers were always here. Checking back periodically to see if our favorite of favorites had come ’round again to enliven, inspire, touch, and delight us with her impeccable talent. I am ecstatic that you are back. I guess this means that I’ll be doing the same. A deal is a deal. 🙂

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    1. A deal is most certainly a deal. We need all the blogging crew back together again and you are a crucial part of that. Thank you for being there for me, Steph. I just feel so much better knowing you are there. Love you xxxx

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  7. Mwha, mwha, mwha! So glad you’re back! Love you stax, beautiful woman. ❤

    (Could you — do you want to? — make a pair of little wings out of faux leather, paint them a stony-mix colour to match (or paint them gold!) and attach them to your angel? It could be a healing exercise, symbolising the wings you're going to create for yourself.)
    xox

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  8. Yep, still here too. You’re still in my favourites list. (Even though you didn’t show up in my feed until today, strange.) I was really heartened to read this. It’s beautiful. I hope you are able to use writing, creativity and your walks to help facilitate this healing. It works. I can say that with confidence.

    I have been away from my own blog for more than a year too. Perhaps we can gently step back into sharing words together.

    Lots of love. Rooting for you always.

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  9. I’m glad you’ve found your way again. I can’t say I understand, because I probably do not, but I can imagine how awful and lonely it must be. it does take a lot for a person to get back up and you’ve done that. I’m very happy for you.

    I love reading your writing, I’m glad you’re back. I hope you have a joyful new year and have many wonderful things to keep you going. have a sweet day.

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  10. Selma! Every time I open the browser up comes a grid page with my default favorites – the places I return to again and again and Selma In The City never lost her place there but I would see the same post “cubed” in the grid and say “not yet” to myself. meaning she’s not back yet. So, you can imagine how nice it was to find a new post, new design, new beginning from our dear Selma. The incredibly gifted delightful honest-to-god wonderful sweet savvy Selma. Don’t look back. Keep moving forward. This is an exciting time to be who we are, for you a second chance, and blessed by an angel who stopped sorrowing about her lost wings because she found it wasn’t so hard to be earthbound with someone like you as her friend.

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  11. Glad to see you back, old friend. Yes, two years is a long time, but you can see you are not forgotten. I expect now you are more seasoned, more aware, more SELMA than ever before. And that, my friend, is a beautiful, beautiful thing indeed. BTW – your angel is gorgeous.

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