Sunday, July 27, 2014

Then There's the Vines

Today I spent a great deal of time in my vegetable garden, and in one of my flower beds....
In the flower bed, I had to remove the morning glory vines that were taking over all of the other flowers, wrapping themselves around them as they wound their way toward the next thing....its what they do...they're vines....and they have beautiful and useful flowers...the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love to drink from their big trumpet blossoms, but they choke everything they wrap around, sometimes even choking the lives out of themselves.  So in order for the rest of the flowers to live and bloom and feed  the same creatures, I had to uproot the morning glories and unwind all the vines.  It was necessary for the greater good...but it was kind of sad, all the same.  Not that we don't have tons more morning glories all over the farm...but still, sad to me to have to take their lives.
In the vegetable garden, I was busy building ever-taller trellises for the cucumber plants...they don't wind around other plants, but they are vines, by virtue of having tendrils that come out and wrap around whatever they can find, or reach, to keep supporting themselves as they grow toward the sun. In the process of trellising and re-trellising, I spent a lot of time unwinding the delicate tendrils, where they'd wrapped themselves around other branches, squeezing them so tightly that they'd die if these tendrils weren't removed...I would then place them on the wire or string supports so that they had something to hold onto that would not be another plant...sometimes I would find where they had wrapped around themselves, cutting off their own circulation, too.  It was a long and tedious process...and every day I have to check on them, make sure nobody's grabbed onto the wrong thing, either killing itself or its neighbor.
I realize that I've been feeling like I've been getting wrapped in vines of some kind.  Here I am, trying to bloom where I'm planted, and these vines come along and grab me, because that's what vines do, and they are choking me, cutting off my circulation, using me for support and not caring what the damage might be to me.  I don't know another way to describe this feeling, other than that it feels like being held down, tied to one place, squeezed, used without regard for my welfare.
I think I relate to this so, and feel the need to explain it metaphorically, because its just so fitting and so literal.
I want to stand alone, and yet there are those around me that want that co-dependent feeling they used to get from me before...when I used to be their support, and allow myself to be used and wrapped up and have the life squeezed out of me.  I realize this is why I have been depressed.  I want to stand alone, yet I'm not allowed to....there are things beyond my control that just won't let that happen right now.  So I feel like I'm covered in vines and squeezed by my neighbor's tendrils wrapping around my throat, my heart, my soul...with little or no regard to how I feel about any of it.
It occurs to me that I'm the only person living here that is not passive-aggressive by nature.  I'm the plant that stands tall and just wants to feel some sun and rain and be allowed to grow as best as I can...
But the passive-aggressive people in my life, they want to keep me bound and gagged and held too closely for my liking; to use me to hold them up and squeeze the life out of me so that they can feel comfortable.
And I think, how did this happen?  How is this happening?  How am I to handle these vines?  How do I unwrap those delicate tendrils without damaging them, even as they are damaging me?  I don't know...and I find it more than a little scary and intimidating.
Do I uproot the vines and just get them off me?  Do I gently remove the tendrils and hope that I don't hurt anyone in the process of freeing myself?  Is this even possible?
I wonder if anyone else is having this experience.  I know that I had been considering leaving this place and these people and trying to start a new life somewhere else, somewhere fresh and new and different.  And once they realized that, little by little I have been being wound around until I will have to risk damaging others to save myself.  This is so against my nature, and they count on that..they always have....its always been how they've gotten me in the past.  But I'm different now; I just haven't had to face this problem, not to the degree that it has become potentially dangerous for me, since I've become who I'm becoming.  This will take some serious consideration, but I can't take too long....or I'll be choked to death...
I am still trying, trying so hard, to hold on, to grow, in spite of the vines that want to keep me from it.
I don't understand why they can't just leave me like they found me...why they can't stand on their own or choose something solid and unfeeling to wrap around or grab onto.  Why does it have to be me?
Well, tomorrow I will garden some more, remove some more vines, rearrange some more tendrils, and see if I can get clear of this mess so that I can be left to stand, to grow, to bloom...tonight, I can bid you peace, and recommend that you buy a small pair of pruning shears, pocket-sized, to carry around with you just in case you should ever find yourself in my predicament.   I will be sharpening mine in the morning.    Just in case....
I bid you peace and send you a smile, a truly weary one, but a smile...

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