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Soul gardening

Barred and bolted, the tiny door kept out most of the intruders, the nosy, the curious, the hopeful. They all thought that they were unique, were special enough to have a private audience with her. They were wrong.

She’d hired a guard but he was too easily suckered. They’d claim to be her best friend from high school or from her church, or bringing Chinese takeout. They’d try anything to get to her – well, anything other than being honest. The guard was a babyface of course – she couldn’t have a heel connected to her. It would ruin her reputation. But maybe it was going to have to come to that. But for now, the door was the solution. That and the courtyard. If someone was bold enough to get through the barricade, they’d probably get distracted by the courtyard garden that lay between her and the rest of the world.

It was her own special spot, designed by her and her penpal from Japan. How many private tea gardens were there in the world, especially outside of Japan? We would never know. Thus hers was the only one. In the absence of absolute certainty, the only sure thing was the only truth.

She’d come to this impasse because they flocked to her. She was forever needed by those who were empty, absent – hungry ghosts masquerading as humans. She had grown up in a family of them – the emotionally needy, the spiritually bankrupt. She spoke their language fluently. So others, related by temperament and outlook if not by blood, saw her as a kindred spirit. They confided in her, told her all of their dark secrets, the ones they never told their priest or counselor. They could have healed those voids, these ugly reflexes, but they chose to look outward to others for their happiness and healing. 

They told her she was special and she said no – anybody can do this, but maybe they were right. What made her different was that she’d achieved escape velocity and done it. Yes they could – but they didn’t.

So she had to lock herself away from them from time to time – the gnawing neediness, the game they played over and over where they chose the role of broken or helpless or victim or all three. She could no longer play along – it wasn’t healthy for any of them. So here she retreated to her soul garden to nurture herself, to tend the parts of her soul that were worn.

(Written mid August 2018)

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