Monday, October 20, 2008


While visiting family at a time of unrest I took some time to gather my thoughts away from the sorrow. Their pool, now covered with blue plastic and colorful leaves and tall white buckets filled with water on each corner holding the covering in place was a perfect way to explore my purpose in this journey.

Was I one of the four tall white buckets, filled with water and sturdy? Was I the blue plastic covering all the water beneath, protecting it until it can be opened and clear for summer frolic next year. Was I the colorful leaves scurrying and scattering in the wind not knowing where they would finally land. Was I the water beneath, protected from all the elements, accepting that others will keep me safe from the often harsh forces of winter. I was definitely not the water beneath, that is the source of this sorrow. Was I the page fence surrounding the entire pool area keeping out intruders?

I felt most aligned with being one of the tall white buckets filled with water. I liked this purpose because there were four of us responsible for the task of securing protection for what was beneath. Being part of a team doing one job felt right to me. I began to feel good that I had a place and that I wasn't alone.

I looked at the four white buckets, scratched and tattered and one had a broken handle. I had another decision to make. Being one with handles in tact or the one with a broken handle. I decided that I would be the one with the broken handle. I liked the imperfection of it allowing me to be imperfect as well. I also wanted it to be harder to move me if need be. I needed time to define my place in securing the plastic protecting the still and frightened water beneath, now covered and facing it's fate alone. I wanted to be sure that if the water had a chance of being uncovered and clear of disease that I had done my job by protecting it until winter's end.

I know the winter will be harsh. I can imagine the ice stinging my face and my tears frozen in time. I will be tempted to beg for mercy and long to be inside where it is warm and free of the elements of the storm. But I have a job to do, I need to be at my post because if the cover comes off before it is time the water beneath will be exposed and unable to withstand the treatment of winter. People are counting on me to be strong. But wait, I have a broken handle, how can anyone expect me to be equal to my team members. I chose this imperfect bucket for just that reason. It will be harder to move me filled with frozen water with no handle. This imperfection of mine will require that I fight harder to maintain my place and that the heaviness of it will be too much for anyone to move . I must withstand, no matter what.

I am scared of my weakness. my own brokenness. This view of the once fun filled pool now covered, preparing for winter, counting on the buckets to hold down it's covering while it endures purification, healing and new life for the summer that will come, regardless.

What will the uncovering reveal? Will I have done my job of protecting throughout the harsh treatment of winter. Will the water beneath be clear and clean and become a place to frolic and for swimming and laughter, floating and be refreshed and anew? Will it sparkle and invite and be energized? I don't know the answers and still I will do my job, providing a protective covering over the troubled and dark water beneath. I will stand proud looking about at my team members doing the same, each of us so important to the other. One bucket could not do this necessary task, we each have our piece to hold down. We each wonder what lies beneath, if the disease will grow anyway and destroy what we are fighting for to protect and keep safe. Is it all for naught? I must believe it is not. I must succeed at my post even if being there may make no difference at all in the final outcome, in the revealing of what may have grown anyway beneath the blue plastic cover.

I will be a good bucket, I promise. I will stand strong through it all. I wont move even when it gets really hard to stay. What I am challenged to do and be is far less then what the water beneath is fighting to once again become,- clear and free and able to withstand winter's treatment. When the buckets are eventually no longer needed and we look beneath the covering I will immerse myself in the water in whatever condition it is in - I will fall naked and vulnerable in to it's murkiness or clarity and float on it's surface. I will become part of the truth of it's renewed existence or it's death.

Gail (the bucket)


Anonymous said...

Hello Gail the bucket,
It is Alexander. I enjoyed your analogy. It seems you have taken the advice of your mentor and are using imagery as does M C. I believe I have figured out who that is.
First, regarding your comment back to me on an earlier post. I feel an apology is in order, from me to you. I did sense your, perhaps, annoyance at my line of questioning. I undestand that completely. I was looking for further resolve, through you. I also assumed you may want the same of me. Is there any truth to that at all? I do appreciate your telling me a bit more of who James and Daniel were as priests. I am saddened by their misrepresentation of the priesthood and its intended purpose. I am sorrier that you were caught in their cross-fire. And I am sorry if my questions were upsetting to you.

On to this post. My, my my. I know a person close to you is ill. I read and felt your struggle about who you are in their journey. There are no guidelines in such matters. Often it is trial and error. It feels like you have found your place and that you are willing to go to any length to maintain it. That is all any of us can do, hang in there until our job is done. Amen.

I pray this day for you, for us all, is loving and kind.


Gail said...

Hi Alexander-
thanks for your comment. I appreciate your apology but I really wasn't annoyed as much as I was just unsure as to what to tell you about them. I believe, over time, we both will get some of what we need, naturally. I believe it is Trish who wrote that writing, or in this case, blogging is only a part of a much bigger process.

Thanks for your words of support about my loved one's illness. He is now in the critical care unit. Our hope is that such medical intervention will not be needed for long and that he can maintain in a less restrictive and heavily monitored environment. The sounds alone in such places are so frightening, - all those bells and whistles and beeps. My goodness!

Well, thank you again for writing. It is beautiful here in New England. I am surrounded by so many gifts of nature. And so much love.

Peace to you Alexander and to Jona too.